STORIES
Business Heroes

Bill Gates

by Tony from San Diego

Bill Gates as a teenager.
Bill Gates as a teenager.

Originally known as a troublemaker and class ditcher, no one would have expected such a slacker to rise and become one of this century's most successful men. As a child and teenager, he was a mischief-maker. His parents switched him out of public school to a private school for being so notoriously troublesome. In college, he often missed class, showered rarely, lived on pizza, and played poker in his dormitory. Not even his parents anticipated anything for him. But by believing in himself when no one else did and following his dreams, he quickly rose to fame and success with the establishment of Microsoft. Having created one of the world's most famous operating systems, Bill Gates currently holds the position of being richest man in America as well as the fifth most powerful person in the world. Gates was born in Seattle, Washington on October 28, 1955 as William Henry Gates III. He went to Lakeside private school for 5th through 12th grade. In 1973, Gates graduated from Lakeside with a full SAT score and attended Harvard University. On January 1, 1994, he married Melinda French and they had three children. In 2000, Gates and his wife established the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund for college scholarships, AIDS research, and places in destitution. Little did Gates know that the foundation would become the second most generous foundation by 2007 with over 22 million dollars in donations. He strives to do all he can to assist people who are less fortunate and are not born with an equal chance at life. He is selfless and especially dedicated to do his best. He carves a new path that others will follow. Bill Gates shows selflessness, devotion, and leadership to aid the less fortunate. He sacrificed his CEO role at Microsoft so he could acquire more time to focus on philanthropy; defying greed, Bill Gates is a true hero.

Gates aids the misfortunate.
Gates aids the misfortunate.

Selflessness, a trait most people lack, is making sacrifices for someone while expecting nothing in return. It is sacrificing someone's own interests for the greater good. In today's often greedy and selfish society, Bill Gates stands out for his selflessness. Gates' foundation "...has pledged $1 billion to create the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, a minority scholarship to close the racial gap in higher education. The grant program, which will be managed by the United Negro College Fund, will give undergraduate scholarships to 1,000 financially needy students each year. Other recent gifts include $400 million on global health initiatives and $200 million to wire libraries for the Internet in low-income communities. Additionally, foundation has worked to achieve improved access to health care in developing nations all over the world, as well as helping to fund numerous disaster preparedness efforts and medical research initiatives"(Bill Gates. Bill). He willingly donates money so someone else will have a better life and brighter future. He also accomplishes a big deed for his country, since a true democracy must have an educated population to function efficaciously. He does not have any personal gains doing this, but does it anyway knowing it will make others' lives better. As a humanitarian, on January 26, 2011, "Gates traveled to the United Arab Emirates to meet with Pakistani ministers and seal a $17 million partnership with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, to fund polio vaccinations. On Friday, at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Gates and British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that Britain would give about $62 million" (Sternberg). Gates travels the world for his foundation. He works tirelessly with world leaders trying to extinguish disease. Gates selflessly commits his time and energy. Bill Gates sacrificed a big portion of his life to help others. He has made an immense impact on numerous lives of people in need.

Gates spends time with the poor.
Gates spends time with the poor.

Devotion requires countless sacrifices to mobilize a cause. Heroes must stay devoted to what they believe is right and just. Gates established Microsoft from scratch and crushed any competitors. Through his unrivaled devotion of time and effort, Gates quickly nourished Microsoft to become one of the most influential companies of this century. Gates is just as devoted to philanthropy as he was with Microsoft, perhaps even more. "He and his wife founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, which he has endowed with $22 billion. The foundation, which will spend $1 billion each year, is the richest foundation in the world. Gates's main interests for philanthropic giving are libraries, schools, and global public health" (Bill Gates. Bill). He is willing to contribute 22 billion dollars to support a cause. It shows the magnitude of his devotion, especially since 22 billion dollars is not a small amount of money, even to Bill Gates. He does not just stop there. His foundation will continue to donate and dedicate 1 billion dollars every year to  "libraries, schools, and global public health." Money is not the only thing Bill Gates devotes to philanthropy. "In 2008 he gave up a day-to-day role in Microsoft to spend more time on philanthropic work..."("Bill Gates." Hutchinson's).  He resigned from his highly regarded role as CEO so he could acquire more time to promote the cause. He shows unmatched devotion to philanthropy because he actually spends the time and effort to support the cause, rather than just donate some money. Sacrificing money, time, and effort, Bill Gates is unbelievably devoted to philanthropy.

Heroes can not be hypocrites. They can not tell others to donate to charity if they have not donated a single penny to charity. Heroes must lead by example. They must be the one who blaze a new and better path in life for others to follow. Bill Gates turns his words into actions. Even though he does not directly lead the people, he indirectly influences them through his actions. Gates establishes himself as one of the best role model for other affluent people to follow, because of his generous actions: "'People have only begun to see the impact of his wealth on education, medicine, poverty, and social causes, a legacy that may overshadow his technological contributions,' said Paul Andrews, the author of a biography on Gates." ("Bill Gates." Bill). The fact that he may be remembered more for his philanthropic actions than his creation of Microsoft means he is dedicated and inspires others to be just as dedicated. With his position he leads others to start focusing on philanthropy because many people hold in him in high regard, so if they hear or see that he is now focusing on philanthropy, they will convinced to participate too. "If Gates provides the final push for polio eradication -- joining March of Dimes co-founder Franklin Delano Roosevelt and vaccine pioneers Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin -- he may be remembered as much for providing the 'knockout blow' to polio as for founding Microsoft, Oshinsky says. 'Bill Gates is finishing the work that FDR started,' he says." (Sternberg). By using his money and influence to help put an end to polio, he influences opulent people to not spend their wealth enjoying themselves while others are still at risk from dying at the hands of polio. He also involves himself in many different causes, which persuades others to also involve themselves with many other causes to make a positive impact on society. Bill Gates leads by example and inspires others to help the needy through his own actions. He stands as a commendable role model for others to follow.

Gates helps out needy
Gates helps out needy

As rich as Bill Gates is, he does not succumb to greed and let it decide his actions. His philanthropic actions are not to simply satisfy the public, because he believes others should have an equal chance at life and that no one should have to go to bed with an empty stomach. His actions are from the bottom of his heart. Not only has he selflessly donated a massive amount of money to charity, he also devotes his time and effort with it as well. Gates shares his prosperity with the less fortunate. All other affluent people should follow his actions. He is an inspiration to all. His selflessness inspires me, because he is the richest, yet he has the heart to aid the misfortunate. His devotion to philanthropy inspires me, since he actually puts in his time and effort and does not make a donation just to say he is a generous person. With his powerful position in this world, his generous actions set the standard for the upper and middle classes. They should follow his lead, and help the poor, because no one deserves to be limited by their financial or medical situation, because that is something you have no control over in the case of people that are born into poor places. "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice." Even though he is one of the most powerful and wealthy people to ever walk on the face of this planet, he was still willing to step down from his CEO role and stop to help the impoverished. Not much was anticipated of this slacker four decades ago; however, through his selflessness, devotion, and leadership, Bill Gates became a true hero.


Works Cited

"Bill Gates." Bill Gates (Biography Today) (2010): 1. Biography Reference Center. Web. 12 Dec. 2011.

"Bill Gates." Hutchinson's Biography Database (2011): 1. Biography Reference Center. Web. 12 Dec. 2011.

Sternberg, Steve. "Bill Gates Sets Goal of Wiping out Polio." Usatoday.com. Gannett, 30 Jan. 2011. Web. 12 Dec. 2011.




Page created on 1/13/2012 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 1/13/2012 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - shows all the latest news updates on Gates' next move for philanthropy.
USA Today - explains how and what Bill Gates does to help wipe out polio.
Gates Millenium Scholars - is a program funded by Gates to provide scholarship for students that can't afford it.