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25 Things About Bill Gates Normies Would Be Surprised To Learn

As I’m sure you know, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article were it for the historic contributions to the world of computing made by a few famous men. If you’re currently on a mac or iPhone, then the late, great Steve Jobs is your man. If your on a PC, then you have Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to thank. A famously charitable and wickedly smart tech pioneer and businessman, I don’t think that I am exaggerating when I say that the world could be a very different place where it not for his revolutionary take on home computing. The worlds of both business and pleasure would be so vastly different as to be likely unrecognizable had he not come around to change the way things were done. In his day, computers were massive, room-filling machines that were only capable of a few specific tasks. Today, they are so compact and intuitively designed as to literally fit in your pocket. The sci-fi dreams of yesteryear are now commonplace items which we often take for granted, and Gates is largely to thank for these miraculous technological advances.

Nearly everyone knows that he’s a generous contributor to various global charities, but few really know the depths to which his charitable contributions go. Plus, he’s done some crazy things in the past, many of which will have you raising an eye and asking if such a seemingly mild-mannered techy could really have gone to such lengths. You’ll be surprised to learn some of these weird facts.

25 He Almost Scored A Perfect 1600 On His SATs

Bill Gates Perfect SAT Score

If you’re going to make it in tech, then you have to be something of a wiz. You can’t just have a knack for scripting in java or the ability to build your own gaming PC. If you want to follow in Bill Gates’ footsteps, you would have to be able to replicate the architecture of a modern-day computer without actually owning it or having access to the Internet, as Gates did in the '70s with Altair BASIC, Microsoft’s first product. Sure, that sounds pretty insane, but what’s crazier is the fact that, in high school, Gates nearly earned a perfect score on his SATs. Many high schoolers will still be intimately familiar with the infamous standardized aptitude test, but few ever receive scores as high as Gates did.

Racking up 1590 points out of a possible 1600, his extreme test-taking skill was enough to garner the attention of world-renowned collegiate powerhouse Harvard.

I would love to know what he did to have that last ten points knocked off of his score. Perhaps he filled in one of the bubbles on the test sheet a little too sloppily, or perhaps whoever was grading the paper didn’t see fit to ever give out a completely perfect score. Whatever the reason, I wonder if Gates is still a little miffed over being so close to total perfection. My guess is that he’s forgotten about it a long time ago.

24 A Billionaire By 31

Bill Gates 31

Nowadays, Bill Gates is famous for being one of the richest human beings on Earth, and perhaps to ever live, but wealth of that sort doesn’t come overnight. In fact, it is the result of some serious ambition the likes of which can really on be rivalled by his fellow billionaires. Ambitious seemingly from birth, Gates is famous for wanting to become a billionaire from a young age. He famously declared that he wanted to be the first billionaire by the age of thirty, an ambition which he would just barely fail to accomplish.

It is, in a way, almost ironic that he would become the world’s first true billionaire by 31, as it must have felt at least a tinge bittersweet to have narrowly missed such a dramatic accomplishment. Don’t get me wrong, he’s made more money than will be earned by entire countries, but he did fall just short of his own personal goal.

I would like to imagine that he’s stung more by that than by his just barely short-of-perfect SAT score, but Gates is a man of near misses, either way. Again, he’s got more money than the collective wealth of everyone reading this article by far, but, when you get to the point where money is absolutely no object, small things like that could come back to urk you. I’ll bet he’s laughing about it, though.

23 He’s Got a Dark Side… Well, Kind Of….

Bill Gates Mugshot

As I’ve said, tech titan Bill Gates is famous for making charitable contributions to organizations all over the world, and he’s worked to contribute to causes like the fight against malaria, the reduction of carbon-based fuel emissions, and so many more. He’s absolutely a great guy, and few billionaires could match the man’s sterling reputation.

That said, he’s got something of a dark side. Well, that’s what people thought in 1977 when his mug shot was released. While he wasn’t really doing anything extraordinarily crazy, he was once stopped for blowing through a stop sign in his native Bellevue, Washington. Gates later commented that he was detained after verbally accosting his officer and threatening to sue him, though he maintains that he shouldn’t have been kept at the police station as long as he was.

He’s also admitted that he was under the influence at the time, which he had gotten possession of from a friend with whom he had just recently visited. Though the whole thing was kind of blown out of proportion, the incident became rather famous and temporarily made Gates out to look like something of a crazy bad-boy millionaire.

22 He’s Richer Than Entire Countries

Bill Gates Richest Country

We all know that Bill Gates has done pretty well for himself. Alright, that’s a major understatement: he’s done so well for himself that he’s gone down in history as one of the wealthiest people to ever live, and his capital is so ridiculously vast that stacks of his money could theoretically match the size of some skyscrapers.

Though I don’t mean to belabor the point, he’s so unfathomably rich that, were he a country instead of a sovereign citizen, he would be the 63rd richest country in the world. Now, that might not immediately sound all that impressive, but we’re literally measuring the wealth of a single man on a geopolitical scale. Sure, his wealth might not equal that of something as ridiculous as the GDP of the United States or the incredible, trillion-dollar debt accrued by that same nation, but the fact that he fits comfortably in the top 100 richest countries in the world really highlights just how insanely wealthy he actually is. Most people would do anything to have a percent of a percent of his money, and he’d be billions and billions richer had he been less charitable in the past. Suffice to say, he’s far from the poor house.

21 He’s Been Rich For Quite A While

Bill Gates rich
via: gobankingrates.com

Most people who spend their entire lives in luxury only manage to do so because they were born into a rich family. While lots of so called “trust fund” babies are often content to sit around and enjoy the benefits of old money, Gates worked his way from almost nothing. Well, that isn’t quite true: Gates’ parents were far from paupers. His father was a successful attorney, and his mother was a social acolyte of the rich and famous, and she had many prestigious connections which her son could exploit.

That said, Bill Gates was named the richest man on the planet in 18 of the past 23 years, and, as you can imagine, that’s far from an easy thing to accomplish. With modern-day competition like business magnate Warren Buffett and social media billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, amassing the greatest fortune of all is pretty tough. As he’s proven, however, Gates seems to be able to consistently reign financially over his contemporaries, and, unlike some businessmen billionaires, he did so in a way that impacted the lives of just about everyone. There’s a reason why Bill Gates is a more recognizable name than Warren Buffett, and it’s because he’s changed the way you live.

20 He’s Given Billions To Charity And Plans to Give Even More

Bill Gates Charity

Billionaire philanthropists have long been a staple of society, but all too often the public seems eager to bite the feeding hand as critics are typically quick to judge the actions of the super wealthy. Even with all of his charitable donations, Gates has managed to draw the ire of many. Yet, he’s pledged to give away a substantial part of his fortune before his passing as a show of how the world may be improved with the financial help of billionaires like himself.

In 2010, he founded the Giving Pledge which established a group of billionaires who have promised to give away major parts of their fortunes in the coming years. Among these famous signees are the likes of Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg, who seem very eager to disperse their fortunes in the name of charity.

Gates has already given away billions of dollars in charity, and he hopes to encourage non-billionaires to contribute their savings in an effort to fight global poverty and crisis. An admirable goal, to be sure, and Gates has already donated more money than most will ever see in their lifetimes. I suppose Gates assumes that there’s no point in leaving money to none other than his family, and it’s great to see that he has a vested interest in keeping humble and bettering the world.

19 Apple Not Allowed

Bill Gates Tablet

Bill and Melinda Gates are the parents of three children, and, though they are all beyond adolescence at this point, the couple has declared that they have adopted a relatively old school parenting style. While it may seem ridiculous to assume that these kids live in anything other than total luxury, Gates has said that he hasn’t allowed any of his children to own a cell phone while under the age of 14. Though that’s hardly the spartan relationship endured by the strict parenting approaches of yesteryear, it’s somewhat of an ironic move for a man who made his money in tech.

There’s also apparently a total Apple product ban on the Gates’ household, though I would be willing to be that the family never has to worry about the expenses associated with their hardware.

It could be one holdout form the days in which Steve Jobs was a fierce and direct competitor with Microsoft, but, at the end of the day, it would be weird if your own kids weren’t using the tech manufactured by your own company. Again, I don’t think anybody will really believe Gates to be too firm with his kids, but it’s interesting to see that he’s imposed any kind of parental regulation on household technology.

18 He Was A Bit Of A Control Freak At Microsoft

Bill Gates Memorized Lisence Plates

I think we’ve all had the experience of laboring under an overly-controlling boss, and, while directing employees is a major part of their job description, having a higher-up constantly breathing down your neck can make it difficult to conduct your work. Though some tech giants like Google or Apple are rumored to harbor fantastic work environments, Gates seemingly wasn’t similarly inclined back in the day. In fact, based on what I have heard, I would guess that most ex-Microsoft employees would not have remembered their days with the company fondly.

Gates is rumored to have memorized the license plates of his employees' vehicles in the early days of his organization. He did this so he could easily track the comings and goings of the people he employed, and he could then easily determine who was contributing and who was slacking off.

Now, you may interpret that as a man eager to see his financial endeavors succeed, but the move makes him out to seem like a really controlling, borderline paranoid corporate leader. Plus, he only gave up on the act once Microsoft grew to be too large for him to keep track of all of his employees. However, judging by his mathematical talents, I’m guessing that only happened a couple of years ago.

17 He Put his Tech Skills to Good Use in High School

Bill Gates High School

If you were as computer savvy as Bill Gates, what would be the first thing you would do? Disrupt a global banking conglomerate and transfer their funds into your account? Hack into federal system architecture to denuclearize the world? Finally, make it so that Google Chrome doesn’t use up 85% of your RAM? Well, if you’re anything like the man himself, then you would use your know-how to write a piece of software that generates your school’s class schedule in such a way that you end up in classes filled mostly with female students.

This one has been something of a rumor for years, but Gates apparently managed to swindle some sort of system in his high school days to make it so that he had a little extra reason to show up for class each day.

I am assuming that, at that point, Gates knew pretty much everything his textbooks had to offer, and I guess he simply preferred to focus on other things at the time. Hey, who can really blame him? Instead of waiting around for you schedule and merely hoping your paired with your friends or love interests, you could use your talents to enact your will on the unsuspecting school administration.

16 He Dropped Out of Harvard, but he Eventually Got a Degree

Bill Gates Harvard Graduation

“Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard” is the mantra repeated by many a collegiate defector, but it isn’t exactly an appropriate comparison. Whereas many college students are forced to give up their academic pursuits due to unfortunate financial situations, Gates quit out on his education so he could jump start his career and found Microsoft. I don’t mean to insult anyone who couldn’t quite make their college dreams come true, as I understand such an undertaking can be quite the monumental task, but Gates only dropped out because he essentially had everything lined up already. They say that academic success doesn’t necessarily prove intelligence, and that certainly holds up in this situation.

With that in mind, Bill Gates did eventually receive his honorary diploma nearly 30 years later in 2007. He was already well past pursuing his undergrad, and he had such a high profile by that time that bestowing upon him an honorary degree almost seemed more beneficial to the school.

Though they were already well known, they could then add Bill Gates to the prestigious list of successful entrepreneurs to graduate from the school. Perhaps they were simply being nice, but I doubt that Bill Gates cared much for a degree from anywhere at that point.

15 He Started His Own Company While Still in High School

Bill Gates Traf-O-Data

Recipient of a degree from the prestigious Lakeside School, a private institution in Seattle, Washington, Gates still received a pretty decent education despite his lack of a post-secondary diploma. Of course, focusing on his schoolwork wasn’t enough for him, and he actually managed to found his own small company with a couple of his friends at the time. Though it isn’t exactly something you would expect of the then soon-to-be billionaire, his company focused on computers which could interpret traffic data and create reports for civil engineers. An odd thing to specialize in, but I suppose, when you’re Bill Gates, you’ll do anything if it involves computers.

Speaking of which, the self-constructed computer Gates used to analyze the traffic data was rather sophomorically titled the Traf-O-Data 8008. Now, I want to call special attention to that name. Not only is it the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, but it’s also totally hilarious. I think you should all know the, eh, “word’ spelled out by that number. Equate the 8s to Bs and 0s to os and, yes, Bill Gates founded his own business surrounding a computer named after the feature he probably like the most about his fellow female classmates. You may have been able to fool everyone else, Bill, but I’m on to you.

14 His Kids Aren’t Inheriting His Fortune

I would be willing to be that, when you were a kid, you wanted to be adopted by Bill Gates. He seemed to have all the money in the world, and, if you were his kid, he would almost certainly by you that PlayStation 2 you wanted so badly back in the day. He might even have thrown in a memory card and a second controller for your trouble. I think Bill Gates can probably afford all the two generation-old tech he wants, but he doesn’t seem to be crazy about imparting a vast amount of his wealth on his children. I’ve spoken endlessly about his vested interest in donating most of his wealth to charity, but he almost certainly doesn’t view his children as charity cases.

Apparently, they will only be getting $10 million each once his time comes, and, though you could probably live reasonably well on that, I would like to think that the children of Bill and Melinda Gates aspire to be more than trust fund kids.

The oldest of his children is only 22 and the youngest is 15 right now, so they haven’t been able to do anything Earth shattering yet. However, that is likely to change in the coming years, and it could be that one of the Gates kids will be the next to take the tech world by storm.

13 He’s an Avid Reader

Bill Gates Reading

I suppose it shouldn’t be that surprising given that he’s likely got a whole lot of time on his hands these days, but Bill Gates has proclaimed himself to be a voracious reader. Now, as anyone who has made it through elementary school will know, reading is a great way of keeping your mind sharp, but, unless you happen to have a talent for reading extremely quickly, I doubt you’ve read quite as much as Gates. He claims to read about 50 books a year, which is, of course, roughly about a book a week. Again, that’s the kind of thing that’s easier to do when you either don’t have much to do or spend a good amount of time on airplanes, but it doesn’t really detract from the fact that Bill must have a rather impressive home library.

He’s stated that reading is actually one of the ways in which he is still able to learn and simultaneously test his knowledge, and a brain wired like his must require a good amount of stimulation.

Also, for a guy who has spent much of his career reading code, you wouldn’t really think him to be a literature fanatic. It’s great to see that right-brained people can still appreciate the works of their creatively minded counterparts, though I guess Gates probably isn’t as interested in fantasy novels.

12 He Flew Coach Until 1997

Bill Gates Flying Coach

One of the first things we usually associate with the rich and famous would be private jets. It seems that you haven’t really made it until you have enough money to fly in an aircraft all your own, and I am by no means talking about a crop duster. Bill Gates has had enough money for that since nearly the start of the Concorde Jet program, yet, for the longest time, he elected to fly like a regular Joe in coach.

He’s said that he’s chosen this method of flying primarily because he chooses to sleep during flights, and, when you’re asleep for most of the flight, there isn’t really much of a difference between first class and coach.

While I think most leg room-deprived passengers might contest that idea, Gates spent much of his time flying while sitting next to your typical airline passengers: a sweaty man with horrible breath and a mother holding a crying baby in her lap. Could you imagine a man like Bill Gates in that kind of situation? It’s little wonder why he eventually ponied up the cash to buy his own private plane in 1997. I really don’t see why he didn’t make that leap sooner; asleep or not, flying coach transatlantic can be a miserable experience for anyone.

11 His Name Isn’t Actually Bill

Bill Gates Birth Certificate

Well, duh. As most Bills out there will likely attest, Bill is hardly ever a man’s actual name. His real name is William Henry Gates III, and he’s clearly ignored my emails requesting that he start going by “Gat3s” so more people recognize that he’s actually the third in a line of men bearing the William Henry Gates name. Nevertheless, so many people call him Bill that he must encounter plenty of people who don’t actually know what his legal name is.

He was also given the nickname “Trey” as a child. Given that that’s just another name, that may seem a bit confusing. However, as far as I can tell, it’s a pun on “tres,” or the number three in Spanish. Since he’s the third in a lineage of men bearing that name, I suppose the nickname would make sense.

I’m not sure if Bill Gates has any Spanish heritage, but, assuming that he doesn't, I don’t entirely see the connection here. I’m going to go out on a limb here, however, and assume that nobody actually calls him “Trey” anymore, and, if you did, he could either sue you or simply be really impressed at your knowledge of his personal history.

10 He Donated Billions to Charity in 2017

Warren Buffett To Give Most Of His Fortune To Gates Charity

So, I know I’ve already covered in great detail just how charitable Bill Gates is, but his quest to donate most of his wealth to various charities and help a bunch of different causes all over the world is honestly beyond compare. Though he wants to make it known that you don’t have to be a billionaire to make a difference, the amount of money he has contributed over the years is absolutely staggering. In 2017, however, was a year nearly beyond compare for even Gates himself, as he elected to donate an incredible $4.6 billion to an unknown charity — most likely his own.

A philanthropist the likes of which the world really has never seen, in one year alone, he gave up about 5% of his total earnings in the name of good will.

While the average person can spare a twenty here and a tenner there, Gates has quite literally contributed to charity an amount equal to that of the GDP of some second-world countries. Again, it is important to recognize that this shouldn’t overshadow the smaller contributions made by the everyman, but it is interesting to postulate if, were anyone else in that position, they would be so giving. I suppose a couple of billions of dollars doesn’t feel like a whole lot when you have $88 billion in the bank.

9 He’s Been Knighted By Queen Elizabeth

Bill Gates Knighted 2007

I’m really not all that knowledgeable concerning what it takes to get knighted, but I thought at the very least that you had to be a native British citizen. People don’t get knighted all that often, and the only other person I can think of who has been knighted is Sir Paul McCartney, and if Bill Gates was part of a world changing '60s classic rock quartet, I haven’t heard of it.

I’m kidding, of course, as Bill Gates was granted his prestigious knightly status in recognition for just how much he’s changed the world through his charitable contributions.

Now, I could certainly be wrong here, but I think he’s the only Seattle native to be knighted. Well, Kurt Cobain may have been knighted, I’ll have to check and get back to you on that one. If you were wondering how much you have to give away for the Queen to recognize you, well, it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 billion. So, if you’ve always wanted to meet the Queen and have the cash to spend, that’s your way in. Really, though, we all understand that Gates wasn’t doing it for the notoriety, but I’m sure he’s part of a very, very exclusive club of people who didn’t graduate from Harvard but got the degree anyway and were knighted but aren’t British. A man of many talents and odd circumstances, to be sure.

8 He Wants to Donate 95% of his Wealth to Charity

Bill Gates Donations

Outside of the notorious Microsoft founder, who comes to mind when you think of ultra wealthy philanthropists? Though we’re all several generations removed from the American oil tycoon, I’m willing to be that most minds instantly jumped to the likes of John D. Rockefeller, the famous Standard Oil Company founder famous for becoming one of the wealthiest Americans of all time when adjusted for inflation. At the peak of his notoriety, Rockefeller had about $340 billion in the bank — that’s about four times the amount Gates currently has. He was an extremely well-known philanthropist who gave enough money away to have his name listed on the charitable donations ledger for half of the good will organizations in the country at the time. He also lived to see the Great Depression, where his money and influence were undoubtedly put to good use.

Gates takes considerable inspiration from the late oil mogul, and he has stated that he hopes to one day give away up to 95% of his wealth,

which is the kind of charity to which only the truly rich may aspire. I don’t mean to imply that not giving away most of your wealth to charity is a sign of hard-heartedness, but what Gates plans to do is certainly beyond contemporary compare.

7 He Once Unleashed a Swarm of Mosquitoes During a Speech

Bill Gates Malaria

Another glimpse into the occasionally mad mind of mister Gates, he’s famous for his passion regarding his philanthropic measures, but I think that he may have taken things a bit too far when. During a 2009 speech on the effects of Malaria on African populations, Gates actually unleashed a swarm of mosquitoes on the unsuspecting audience. Now, if you’re anything like me, you would not have been too pleased by Gates’ actions that day. I understand that he was trying to drive home a point, but mosquitoes are awful, annoying little creatures that usually leave me itching and scratching for days on end.

I suppose he wanted to display just how irritating and even devastating these little pests can be, particularly when they’re infected with a potentially fatal illness, but I think he could have made his point without resorting to such measures.

Rest assured that the bugs Gates used didn’t weren’t actually afflicted with malaria, though, for a brief moment we might assume that the audience didn’t know that. Do I believe Bill Gates would potentially infect an audience and his own person with a deadly disease in an effort to get his message out? Well, if that’s what it takes to get knighted by the Queen of England, then perhaps.

6 Outlook’s Default Silhouette is Actually a Mugshot

Bill Gates Mugshot Silhouette

Most people know Microsoft’s Outlook to be a personal information manager and email platform which, by most accounts, doesn’t quite measure up to other offerings by companies like Google. That’s a matter of opinion, of course, and I am sure that many Microsoft Office users utilize the software to great effect. That said, however, the 2010 release of the program contains something of a small Easter egg, which is particularly peculiar coming from a company which has a reputation for being relatively humorless.

Tech-savvy citizens of the Internet will instantly recognize a white-on-white silhouette to be the default placeholder image for a user who hasn’t bothered to upload a custom image to their Microsoft account. Eagled-eyed Microsoft fanatics, however, quickly discovered a quirky little secret concerning Outlook’s default image:

it’s actually the silhouette of Bill Gates’ 1977 mugshot. This particular image was taken when Gates was brought in for speeding in New Mexico, and it’s funny to think that such a notoriously benevolent man has more than one mark against him on his criminal record. Honestly, he doesn’t look all that bothered by the encounter in the actual police photo, and I’m sure that, even at the time, he wasn’t all that concerned with his minor run ins with the law, he could more than pay his own bale, if need be.

5 He Founded a Fund to Fight Carbon Emissions

Bill Gates Carbon Emissions

As we all know, Bill Gates has a vested interest in donating his time and fortune in an effort to aid benevolent organizations across the world. While that often entails visiting impoverished African nations and releasing swarms of mosquitoes on unsuspecting audience members, he also spends much of his time pow-wowing with is fellow billionaires.

In 2015, he founded the Breakthrough Energy Coalition fund, a movement which is intended to help with the reduction of carbon-based fuel emissions and the discovery of more eco-friendly fuel resources.

Nobody can say that Gates doesn’t have the good of humanity in mind, and he’s managed to include fellow ultra-rich cohorts Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos into his financial machinations. Of course, starting a fund is slightly different than directly donating a large sum of money, but the idea is to create a renewable pool of currency which could constantly be used for good. However, I’m willing to bet that Gates was willing to put a few extra zeros on the check to get this thing program going.

Come to think of it, that’s a side of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that we don’t often see these days. Today, most people think of him as a deceptive information thief, or perhaps as a reptilian-humanoid living meme. Either way, the guy still has time for some philanthropic activities.

4 He Predicted that Spam Email Would Be A Thing of the Past

Bill Gates Spam Email Prediction

Not everything Gates touches turns to gold, as, like any successful businessman, he’s made a few missteps here and there. Though they haven’t hindered his money-making abilities in the long run, I’m sure there’s a few moves he has made in the past that he would like to have back. For example, Traf-O-Data, the company he founded in high school with that hilariously awful title, actually went out of business relatively quickly. He also could have bought Google, or at least beaten them at their on game before they could grow to eclipse his titanic tech business.

One of his most ridiculous actions, albeit ultimately relatively unimpactful, came in 2004 when he dubiously claimed that the scourge of spam email would be gone in two years.

When you consider that the issue of inbox spam has still yet to be solved entirely in the year 2018, it’s hilarious to think just how wrong Gates was with his prediction. Sure, everyone is entitled to a few foul-ups now and then, but, had I been cognisant of the issue at the time, I would likely have taken Gates at his word. Nobody likes spam email, and, given the fact that we still get plenty of junk through the actual mail service, I am still holding out hope that this web-based virus will one day be eradicated.

3 He’s Saved an Estimated 122 Million People

Bill Gates Charity Saves

This is the ultimate mark of philanthropic success; even multi-billionaires like Warren Buffett or even John D. Rockefeller would absolutely pale in comparison to the astounding success of Bill Gates’ charitable efforts. Though I doubt the man is prone to flaunting his accomplishments in that department, he will likely go down in history as one of most giving people of our generation, and perhaps of all time.

While is is hard to ascertain exactly how many people Gates has positively impacted through his charity work, some estimates have calculated that his generous actions may have saved the lives of up to 122 million people, which is, by my own estimate, more people than were even alive during Rockefeller’s time.

Alright, that’s certainly not the case, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that Gates has literally saved entire populations indirectly through vaccines and aid manufactured through his donated fortunes. When you’ve got more money than anyone would know what to do with, spending it becomes a full-time job, and I think we can all agree that Gates is doing a splendid job. Were I in his position, I would likely have spent the entire fortune on Steam games.

2 He’s Not the World’s Richest Person

Bill Gates Jeff Bezos

Despite holding the title of World’s Richest Man for 18 of the last 23 years, he doesn’t actually hold that title at the moment, though I doubt he’s all that broken up about it. Plus, the incredible amount he’s given away through his countless philanthropic measure likely set him back a bit, but he certainly doesn’t view that as much of a problem. As we know, he isn’t really concerned with leaving a massive fortune for his family when he’s gone, either, so he can spend his money how he sees fit.

At time of writing, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon and equally philanthropic billionaire, is the richest man on Earth, though that title is constantly debated as fortunes of that size are difficult to accurately estimate.

Bezos, Amazon’s founder, shares a very similar story to that of Gates: a small tech startup that few remember that Amazon actually started as an online book distribution service. Though it came from very humble circumstances, you can theoretically buy just about anything on Amazon — a prospect so mind boggling, an older crowd might think it borderline lovecraftian in nature. Though he isn’t mentioned nearly as much as Microsoft’s founder, Bezos has had an equally undeniable impact on our lives.

1 Steve Jobs Kept a Letter From Bill Gates Nearby in his Final Days

Bill Gates Steve jobs

Steve Jobs may be an equally recognizable name when it comes to the technological revolution of the '70s, '80s, and on, but I would argue that, during his life, his fame actually eclipsed that of Gates. Known for his emphatic press conferences and product reveals, the man was able to dazzle consumers the world over with the introduction of such revolutionary products as the Apple iPod and iPhone. Before that time, surfing the Internet on a cell phone was thought to be achievable only through a complex and risky series of black magic spells, and there’s no doubt that Jobs’ impact on the mobile device market will be felt until the end of time.

Jobs and Gates had something of a heated rivalry in their heydays, fighting and bickering with one another during hard times, collaborating and creating in other times.

While we can never really be sure of the nature of the relationship the two shared, we can assume that it must have been pretty volatile. With that in mind, Jobs must have had a soft spot for his colleague and one-time competitor, as he kept a letter written by the Microsoft CEO behind his bed during his battle with prostate cancer. Though the loss of such a brilliant mind is difficult to overcome, it’s interesting that, toward the end of his life, Jobs would come to closely appreciate Gates.

References: unbelievable-facts.com, forbes.com, theguardian.com, factslides.com, cnbc.com, indiatimes.com

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