William Henry Gates III

by Ethan from San Diego


         When most think of William Henry Gates III, or Bill Gates as most know him, they think of billions of dollars, successful companies, and personal computers. What most fail to recognize is his heroic side. Bill Gates was born in October of 1955 in Seattle, Washington, to his parents, William Jr. and Mary Gates. Gates is the second of three children, a family in which he is the only male offspring. Gates began his career in computers at a very young age. At 14 years old, he established his first company called Traf-O-Data with his friend Paul Allen, who would later become Gates' partner in the founding of The Microsoft Corporation (Carson and Bonk). Following his high school years, Gates pursued an education at Harvard University. It was there he decided his future was going to be in the software business. After formulating a plan to start The Microsoft Corporation, Gates dropped out of classes at Harvard to devote his time and energy full-time to building up his new company. He and his partner Paul Allen worked tirelessly to build the company into the multi-billion dollar success that it is today. Following the success of his company he met his wife, Melinda, a manager at The Microsoft Corporation. After many years of success at The Microsoft Corporation, Gates and his wife decided to focus on philanthropy. Their organization, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is responsible for billions of dollars in pledges given to various causes they select to support. Bill Gates exhibits heroic behaviors through his determined spirit and his generous heart.

 ( )
( )

         A trait that must be exhibited in a hero is determination. Bill Gates is a strong example of this trait. The founding of The Microsoft Corporation took much determination. He created this multi-billion dollar company, inspired chiefly by an article he read. "In January 1975, Allen showed Gates a cover story in the magazine Popular Mechanics about a $350 million microcomputer, the Altair, made by a firm called MITS in New Mexico. When he saw the story, Gates knew he wanted to be at the forefront of computer software design" (Dow and Noce). After this article sparked Gates' resolve to launch his career in software design, he went on to start The Microsoft Corporation. It required great determination and hard work to create such a successful company from nothing and even more determination to put his chances of success in other's hands. Gates' success shows that if anyone puts their mind fully to a purpose, they can accomplish their goals with determination and hard work. Gates was willing to give up a promising future as a Harvard University graduate for a start-up company that may or may not have worked out. "In the summer of 1975, after Gates dropped out of Harvard, they created Micro-Soft.. Thus began Gates' career as a software designer and entrepreneur" (Scientists: Their Lives and Works). Gates may have walked away from a world famous education, but his dream mattered more to him. He was determined to be at the helm of computer software design and left what could have been a good future to accomplish that. It took a large amount of determined courage to take such a risk. Although a Harvard education would most likely have provided him with a well-paying and secure job, Gates chose to leave it for a new company which had a large risk of failing. Through his persistence, Bill Gates accomplished what most would deem impossible. Gates is an example to aspiring entrepreneurs because of his sheer grit and drive to succeed.

 ( )
( )

In addition to determination, generosity is also a crucial trait in a hero. Through The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates certainly exhibits this trait. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated billions of dollars to various causes since its inception in 1994. Although some public speculation suggests the very wealthy Gates has contributed little to charity, his charitable organization has proven otherwise. "Despite criticism that he has done little with his fortune, Gates and his wife Melinda have endowed more than $24 billion for philanthropic causes. Of this amount, more than $2 billion has gone to global health initiatives, $500 million to improving learning opportunities, $200 million to community projects in the Pacific northwest, and $29 million to special projects and annual giving campaigns" (Dow and Noce). It takes a great deal of generosity to donate such great amounts of money to any cause, no matter what it may be. Through his donations, Gates has shown the generosity a hero must exhibit. Gates cares about the well-being of others, which drives him to make further donations. "By 2001, however, Gates and his wife had endowed more than $21 billion for philanthropic causes. Their pledges included $1 billion over 20 years to fund college scholarships for about 1,000 minority students, $750 million over five years to help launch the Global Fund for Children's Vaccines, $50 million to help the World Health Organization's efforts to eradicate polio by the end of 2000, and $3 million to help prevent the spread of AIDS among young people in South Africa" (Scientists: Their Lives and Works). Since The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was founded, Gates has donated over $21 billion towards various causes (Scientists: Their Lives and Works). This shows the generosity and caring nature of Gates, something that outlines his heroic image. After leaving the immensely successful Microsoft Corporation, he shifted focus onto what he felt mattered more, the success and welfare of other people. This selfless act is an example to all. Generosity is a trait that Gates exhibits in his everyday behaviors. He cares about the lives of others and is willing to do anything to see them be successful and happy. Gates is a hero to the world because of the level of generosity he shows on a daily basis. 

Through his determination and generosity, Bill Gates is a hero to all. Gates inspires the world to do good through his many charitable acts. Although giving may not be what most want to do, Gates shows us that helping others is extremely important. Additional important traits Gates exhibits are his drive and determination. He started The Microsoft Corporation from almost nothing, and turned it into one of the most successful companies in the world today. Bill Gates is an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs, software engineers, businessmen, philanthropists, etc. Although some may not value the heroic behaviors of Gates, it is evident that what he does is something people in the world need to recognize and even imitate. His selfless acts of generosity and his great determination show the world an example to follow. Although few people are as committed to their dreams and their charities as is Gates, he shows a powerful example of how putting all of your heart, mind, might, and strength into doing something leads to success.


Works Cited


"Bill Gates." Business Leader Profiles for Students. Ed. Sheila Dow and Jaime E. Noce. Vol. 2. 

Detroit: Gale, 2002. Biography in Context. Web. 8 May 2014


"Bill Gates." Scientists: Their Lives and Works. Gale, 2006. Student Resources in

Context. Web. 8 May 2014.


"Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation." Discovery & Translational Sciences. Bill and Melinda Gates                             

Foundation, n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.-


"William Henry Gates, III." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. Ed. Thomas Carson

and Mary Bonk. Detroit: Gale, 1999. Biography in Context. Web. 8 May 2014


Page created on 5/25/2014 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/25/2014 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

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - Official website of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Microsoft Corporation - Official site of The Microsoft Corporation.
Forbes - Forbes profile of Bill Gates.