Bill Gates's Fortune: How Did He Become One of the Richest Men in the World?



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Bill Gates's Fortune: How Did He Become One of the Richest Men in the World?

Tech icon Bill Gates is known for his role in the personal computer revolution as the co-founder and former CEO of software giant Microsoft. But in recent years, he has gained attention for his philanthropy through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Despite a year of falling tech stocks, Gates remains extremely wealthy, with a net worth of $106 billion as of early December 2021. Gates's fortune has grown over the past two decades due to strategic investments and the value of Microsoft stock that he is believed to still own.

Microsoft was one of the first software companies and was founded in New Mexico in 1975 before moving to Seattle. Gates owned over 20% of the company when it went public in 1986 and has sold billions of dollars of Microsoft stock since then.

Gates has a money manager, Michael Larson, who runs his investment firm, Cascade Investment, and has reinvested the money from selling Microsoft shares into a variety of stocks, real estate, private equities, bonds, etc.

These investments make up the bulk of his fortune. One of Gates's largest holdings is in Republic Services, a garbage collection and recycling company in which he owns more than a third of the publicly traded company. This stake was worth $14 billion a couple of weeks ago.

Another significant holding is in John Deere, a company that makes tractors and agricultural machinery. Gates owns several billion dollars of John Deere stock.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Gates is perhaps most well-known for his philanthropy through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which he established in 2000 with his wife.

The foundation has grown to become the world's largest private charitable foundation with a $53.3 billion endowment. To date, Gates has donated $59 billion, much of it Microsoft stock, to the foundation. The foundation focuses on global health, education, and equity issues and Bill and Melinda Gates have served as co-chairs.

However, in July 2021, the foundation announced that if Bill and Melinda could not get along, Melinda would resign as a trustee in two years. Gates made headlines in May 2021 when he and Melinda announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage.

Despite this, Gates donated $20 billion to the foundation this year, further cementing his reputation as a philanthropist. In conclusion, Bill Gates is a tech industry pioneer and successful businessman who has also made a significant impact through his philanthropy.

His wealth, which is estimated at $106 billion as of December 2021, is largely due to his investments and the value of Microsoft stock that he still owns. He has donated billions of dollars to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is the world's largest private charitable foundation and focuses on global health, education, and equity issues.