WilliamHenryGatesIII.com Biography

Date of Birth:
  October 28, 1955

Place of Birth:
Seattle, Washington

William Henry Gates III

Bill Gates was born William Henry Gates III October 28, 1955 to William Henry Gates, Jr. and Mary Gates at Seattle Washington's Swedish Hospital.  He is the second born and only male of three children.  His parents were members of the politically and socially elite; his father was an attorney and his mother was a schoolteacher and an active member of non-profit organizations like The United Way.
    Bill Gates came from a lineage of entrepreneurship and high spirited liveliness.  His grandfather established his own furniture business shortly after arriving in Seattle form Pennsylvania.  His father created a newspaper with classified ads and a sports section that was so respected for its accuracy it won him seats in the press box at local games.  He was in partnership with a friend and they commenced to selling shares of their paper.  His father went on to study at the University of Washington after  World War I.  It was there that he met and married Mary Maxwell.
    Mary was very active socially and politically at University of Washington.  She was president of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority as well as an active participant in various honorary women's societies.  After graduation and marriage, she and her husband move to Seattle.  They began to make evasive social and political impacts on the the upper class region.  After a move to View Ridge, Washington, mary gave birth to a daughter, Kristianne, then to Bill.
    From the start of his life, Bill was very energetic.  He used to rock profusely in his cradle, a trait that is said to be with him today.  As a young child, he was extremely interested in the flourishing aerospace industry of the region and its 1962 World Fair.  The focus of the fair was the future; its theme being "Century 21".  Gates was six years old at the of the Fair.
    By the time Gates entered third grade, his astounding intelligence had bee coupled with extreme behavioral problems.  He was ever desirous of an intellectual challenge, which he did not find in academics, but instead with the teachers and administrators.  He would often receive grades of "A3" meaning excellent work with the worst effort.  This could be accurately assessed as being the beginning of Gates' renowned obnoxious behavior and attitude.
     During the sixth grade, Gates' parents and teachers tried to find an outlet in which to channel his intelligence.  They involved him in the Contemporary Club, that would become very useful for the preparation of Gates' future.  In this club, "super intelligent sixth graders" discussed collegiate level topics in an environment similar to that of a university.  In his economics class, Gates expressed his first sign of evidence of his capitalist nature through a project focused on an inventor embarking on a business venture.  He received a grade of A1.
    Because of Gates' unruly behavior, his parents sent him to a private all male institution named Lakeside School, which would eventually change his life.  Gates developed a keener interest in math and science.  It was during the eight grade that Gates would embark upon an invention that would change the course of his life forever: the computer.
    Lakeside became intimately involved with the studies of usage and operating abilities of the computer.  They delved into programming, which became the new focus for Gates.  Unfortunately, it was very expensive and time consuming.  An acute knowledge of the BASIC programming language was required, which Gates attained almost instantly.  Gates developed his first computer program at the age of thirteen.  It was also then that he would befriend Paul Allen and form a union that would someday alter the course of the computer and make them billionaires.  
    Gates continued to master the BASIC language while Paul Allen tried to learn the intrinsic nature of the computer.  They did most of their practicing at privately funded computer groups, namely the Computer Center Corporation, commonly named C-Cubed.  It would give them free time to program for as long as they wanted, which virtually erased the expense of using computers.  Gates and Allen gained knowledge of the FORTRAN language to broaden their programming capabilities on the limited computers.  C-Cubed would eventually shut down, leaving Gates desperate for inexpensive or free computer time.  He went to University of Washington and formed a group called Lakeside Programmers Group.  The group was comprised of Paul Allen , Kent Evans, and P. Weiland.  They were still in search of computer time and they soon found it in Information Services, Inc.  ISI recruited them to create a payroll program in exchange for the computer time.  The only catch was the program had to be done in COBOL language, that only Weiland knew.  So the others soon learned it by devouring the manuals and sitting in computer courses at the University.
    Soon after, Gates and Allen had been toying with the notion of creating their own computer.  With the introduction of the 'programmable' Intel 4004 chip, Allen tried  to convince Gates to write a BASIC version for the chip.  Gates felt the chip was to slow for the program.  Later, Gates was admitted to Harvard University, where he took several computer courses. He was able to program in the school's Aiken Computation Laboratory.   Allen soon discovered another opportunity for Gates to write a program, for the Altair computer.  This would be the vent that would change their lives forever.
    Gates wrote a program for the Altair computer, the BASIC interpreter.  This software was the breakthrough and beginning of Microsoft.  The software Gates created for the Altair was soon to be one of his greatest contributions and beginning in the history of computer science.  Later, Gates and Allen created SoftCard which would be Microsoft's first formal invention.  It was an operating system and computer language in one.  Within his company, the Q-DOS operating system was born, created by Tim Paterson.  Although Paterson worked for another company, Microsoft was able to obtain the rights for $50,000.  Microsoft soon joined with IBM to create software for their computers.  This would be the first company to which Microsoft would license software.  After the initial success of the IBM computer, Gates began licensing to other companies like Apple.  Later Gates created the Windows 3.0 Version the would have multi-use features like graphics and spreadsheets.  He also created software application program like Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft Works for the Macintosh.  Bill Gates' creations of software and language programs became his contribution to the revolution of computers and the field of computer science. 

Source: Khalil T. Ligon

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