Understanding Bill Gates’ Family, Philanthropic Activities and How He Spends His Money

Age/Date of Birth:
October 28, 1955
5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m)
English, German, and Irish/Scots-Irish
Wife or Girlfriend:

Melinda Ann Gates (née French)(m.1994)
Parents:Father: William Henry Gates II (also known as Bill Gates Sr.)
Mother: Mary Maxwell Gates
Net Worth:$102 Billion

Not many people can say they got to live their dream and even fewer people can say that they did so even when their vision is on a global scale. Bill Gates lived his dream of putting a computer in every home, becoming the world’s richest man, and the man who held that coveted number one title for the most consecutive period in history in the process. But since his Microsoft adventure came to an end, and he cemented his place in business history, Bill Gates has transitioned into something with a comparative global impact, philanthropy.

With more than $99 billion in net worth, Gates has led the world in philanthropic donations and has been at the forefront of health and economic transformation for millions of people, especially in developing countries. But that is just one of the many ways the world-class businessman spends his money.

The Legacy of the World’s Biggest Philanthropist

Based on his reputation when he was the CEO of Microsoft, as a ruthless leader, very few people would have expected Bill Gates to become the world’s biggest philanthropist. But after studying the lives of other wealthy men like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, he decided to transition to philanthropy for the second act of his life.

So far, Bill Gates, as of 2019, has donated more than $50 billion to philanthropy. The donations have been to different causes and organizations, and his family foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has been the biggest recipient.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill Gates
Bill Gates and his wife run the world’s biggest charity: image source

The seed for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was first sowed in 1994 when the tech billionaire donated some of his Microsoft stock to William H. Gates Foundation. At the time, it was one of three foundations owned by him and his family. Six years after, Bill Gates collapsed all three foundations into one entity – Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, making it the world’s wealthiest charitable foundation with more than $46.8 billion in assets.

The foundation’s focus is on healthcare, education, and ending poverty. Since its creation, it has given billions of dollars to various organizations and causes, including the World Health Organization, which has received more than $1.5 billion from the foundation. The foundation’s biggest recipient, GAVI, a public-private global health partnership, has received more than $3.1 billion. Its effort with the WHO and GAVI is credited as a significant contributor to the eradication of polio.

Furthermore, Bill Gates’ foundation funds the education of hundreds of students through various programs like the Gates Cambridge Scholarships, Pro Mujer, Grameen Foundation, and Alliance for Financial Inclusion.

The Giving Pledge

The Giving Pledge is another major philanthropic act of Bill Gates. The pledge is a campaign led by Gates and his longtime friend, Warren Buffett, for extremely wealthy people to contribute a significant portion of their wealth to philanthropy. So far, more than 200 wealthy personalities have pledged, raising more than $500 billion across 22 countries.

For the pledge, Bill Gates will give away an additional $40 billion before and after his death, bringing his total donations to more than $90 billion.

Personal and Family Donations

Outside of his foundation and The Giving Pledge, Bill Gates has donated to various other programs. He has donated millions to universities around the globe, and to organizations tackling multiple health issues, like the Dementia Discovery Fund, which he gave $50 million in November 2017.

When his money is not doing the talking, Gates used his influence and popularity to support causes like Match for Africa. He regularly joins tennis legend Roger Federer to raise money for charity efforts in Africa.

Bill Gates is a Multi-Dimensional Investor/Spender

Outside of philanthropy, Bill Gates spends his money on other things like investment and maintaining a luxurious lifestyle as the world-renowned billionaire that he is.

Investments and Business Ventures

You don’t maintain a multi-billion empire without investments in an array of businesses all over the globe. For Mr. Gates, his investment portfolio spans various sectors and worth several billions of dollars. His portfolio includes AutoNation, EarthNow, TerraPower, Ecolab, ResearchGate, Canadian National Railway, bgC3, Corbis, and Cascade Investment. The latter is the investment vehicle for the billionaire’s business portfolio.

Xanadu 2.0 and a Billionaire Lifestyle

Bill Gates
Bill Gates’ home is one of the world’s most expensive homes: image source

One other significant item in Bill Gates expense records includes his mansion, Xanadu 2.0, located in Medina, Washington. The house, which remarkably has its own Wikipedia page, was built sometime in the 90s. The earth-sheltered house, which sits on 66,000 square feet of space, has a reported value of $147.5 million.

Bill’s mansion is notable, not just because of who owns it but because of the level of technological incorporation in the home. It has more than $80,000 worth of computer screens all over the house and devices worth $150,000 can display different paintings or photographs on request with a single touch.

Other luxury features include a 60-foot swimming pool with an underwater music system and a 2,500 square foot gym. Bill Gates’ real estate expenses also include a Florida equestrian estate, a private island in Belize, a Wyoming ranch, a Bombardier BD-700 Global Express plane, and a car collection worth more than $2 million. His art collection, which is another thing he’s known for, is worth an estimated $130 million.

The Loving Husband and Caring Father Side of Bill Gates

An aspect of Bill Gates’ life that gets little coverage is his family. The billionaire has been married for more than 25 years, to Melinda Gates, nee French, a former general manager at Microsoft. She is a graduate of Duke University and is considered one of the world’s most powerful women, according to Forbes magazine.

Since they got married in an ultra-private ceremony at Lanai, Hawaii, they have given birth to three children – two daughters, Phoebe Adele, Jennifer Katharine, and a son, Rory John Gates.

Their firstborn, Jennifer, was born in April 1996 and is a graduate of Stanford University. She is medical personnel in training, enrolled in a medical school in New York. She is also an equestrian and has competed in various events all over the world.

Unlike Jennifer, Phoebe and Rory keep a much lower profile. So far, all we know is Phoebe is a high school student at Lakeside School, and Rory is a student at the University of Chicago. Rory was born on 23 May 1999, while Phoebe joined the family on 14 September 2002.

See Also: How Much Is Microsoft Worth In 2020 And How Do They Make Their Money?

His Birth Family

Bill Gates’ parents are Bill Gates Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates. His father was a Seattle attorney while and his mother was a Seattle businesswoman. His mother notably served on the board of the United Way of America, where her influence with the CEO of IBM, gave Microsoft its first success as a software company.

As a prominent philanthropist, Bill credits his parents for his sense of philanthropy, having instilled the act of giving back on him since he was a child. His mother, Mary, has a foundation, The Mary Gates Endowment, which gives scholarships to undergraduate students at the University of Washington.

Although the most famous child of his parents, Bill has two siblings, two sisters, Libby Gates MacPhee and Kristianne Blake. Libby is a managing partner of Seattle Family Support, LLC, and a member of the board of regents at the University of Washington. Kristianne, on the other hand, is a public accountant in Spokane, Washington.

Profile Summary 
First Name:William
Last Name: Gates III
Also Known As:
Bill Gates
Software Developer, Investor, Entrepreneur
Famous For:Co-founder of Microsoft
Colleges/Universities Attended:
Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard two years into his college education to start Microsoft
Educational Qualifications:
Bill Gates has no formal degree certificate although he has received honorary doctorates from several universities including Nyenrode Business University, Breukelen, and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
Although he is usually listed among celebrity atheists or agnostics, but his family attends the Catholic church
Birthday & Zodiac
Age/Date of Birth:
October 28, 1955
Zodiac Sign:Scorpio
Birth Place:
Seattle, Washington,
English, German, and Irish/Scots-Irish.
Country of Residence:
The United States of America (USA)
Physical Attributes
5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m)
70 kg in Kilograms,154 lbs in Pounds.
Eye Colour:
Greyish blue
Hair Color:
Other Body Measurements:
Not Available
Marital Status:
Melinda Ann Gates (née French)
Family and Relatives
William Henry Gates II (also known as Bill Gates Sr.)
Mother:Mary Maxwell Gates
Bill Gates has three children- two daughters Phoebe Adele Gates(born 14 September 2002) and Jennifer Katharine Gates(26 April 1996), and a son Rory John Gates (born 23 May 1999 )
Siblings:Bill Gates has two sisters: Libby Gates and Kristi Gates
Other Relatives:
Not Available
Net Worth
Estimated Net Worth:
$102 Billion
Salary:$4 billion annually, $330 million per month
Source of Wealth:
Microsoft (MSFT).

Your Questions Answered

With shares of Microsoft steadily climbing and giving Gates a $110 billion fortune, the business magnate, in turn, invests more than half his income in Cascade Investment, L.L.C., an American holding and investment company headquartered in Kirkland, Washington.

Gates who founded the Microsoft company with Paul Allen four decades ago, has roughly 1.3 per cent of the company’s shares worth over 100 million, despite giving away 64 million shares of his Microsoft stock, worth $36 billion to his charitable foundation over the past two decades. Bill Gates stock is worth about $16 billion and despite his decision to step down from the board of Microsoft and from the board of Berkshire Hathaway, he still holds a major share in the company.

With the rapid development of PCs, Gates technological empire Microsoft MSFT only gets bigger, earning him more millions every day. His соmbіnеd Mісrоѕоft shares wеrе worth nеаrlу $100 bіllіоn and from 2017 to 2018 he went from being worth $86 billion to $90 billion. This indicates that he earned roughly $4 billion in just one year. This also means he earned approximately $10,959,000 a day, $456,625 per hour, $7,610 per minute, and $127 per second

Bill Gates has been on the top billionaire list for several decades and that's because he got an early start when it comes to building his fortune. He is basically this rich because he had a great idea and vision on the importance of PCs in every home at an early age. He sold his first computer program for $4,200, at just 17, and by 1975 and at the age of 20, he worked together with his best friend Paul Allen to found Microsoft. Together, they developed an operating system for IBM's first personal computer, MS-DOS. The system soon became one of his company's most profitable products as it developed into what became the operating system for nearly every PC. He was also smart enough to keep the rights and licence it. His other wealth also comes from sales of shares, wise investments and real estate.

With a net worth of $1.3 trillion, Apple Inc. remains atop all tech companies in the world and while Warren Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway owns 5.68 per cent of Apple shares which is worth $79 billion as of today, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust owns 2.25 per cent of the $79 billion which is around $1.8 billion worth of Apple stock.

Through technological innovation, Gates and his business partner Paul Allen founded and developed Microsoft, the world's largest software business. The Microsoft was initially meant to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800. But it then dominated the personal computer operating system market with MS-DOS followed by Microsoft Windows.

Bill Gates isn't just one of the richest people in the world, his IQ is equally outstanding. He achieved 1590/1600, which means that Bill Gates IQ Test score is 160. He also passed the exam at Harvard University.

Bill Gates is known for his long love for Porsches. He owns a Porsche 959 which he fought for a decade to import into the US. He also owns a Porsche Taycan his first electric car. Gates recently bought himself a Porsche 911 supercar.

Bill Gates started using an android-powered mobile phone only recently. Speaking on Fox News in 2017, he admits switching to the android phone since Microsoft's own Windows-powered phones have failed to make a significant impact on the smartphone market. However, he also revealed he has lots of Microsoft apps installed on his phone. When asked if he has iPhone he simply replied “No. No iPhone”.

Bill Gates owns and lives with his family in Medina, Washington. The 66,000-square-foot (6,100 m2) mansion has 7 bedrooms, 24 bathrooms, 6 kitchens, and 6 fireplaces. The mansion is listed as the 62nd largest mansion on the United States of America,

While many think of Bill Gates as an atheist, the entrepreneur still confirms himself as one who shares the Christian faith. With his wife, Melinda, they raise their children in the ways of the Catholic church which they both attend.

Chuck Dez
Chuck is a personal finance and entertainment writer with over 15 years of experience covering famous biographies, personal finance, celebrity net worth, and celebrity lifestyles. He loves the process of researching new information, discovering and learning new things, as well as putting into words, interesting things others might like to read. When he's not talking about the future of media, business or entertainment, you'll find him watching films, reading or spending time with his wife and kids


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