Bill Gates Pays Tribute To His Late Dad William Gates

Bill Gates and His Father Bill Gates Sr.
Bill Gates and his father, Bill Gates Sr.
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Microsoft founder Bill Gates paid tribute on Tuesday after his father, William H. Gates II., died at age 94 following a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Gates Sr. died peacefully at his home in Washington state. In a lengthy blog post, Gates noted the ‘quiet influence’ his father had on his personal and professional development, both in the early years of Microsoft’s rise to global success in the technology sector and later when he played a key advisory role at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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‘I know he would not want me to overuse the word, but there is no danger of doing that now. The experience of being the son of Bill Gates was incredible. People used to ask my dad if he was the real Bill Gates. The truth is, he was everything I try to be. I will miss him every day.’

‘The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would not be what it is today without my dad,’ Gates wrote.

‘He was quick to tear up when he saw people suffering in the world. And he would not let any of us forget the people behind the strategies we were discussing.’

Melinda Gates also had something to say about her father-in-law and what he meant to her.

Gates Sr. was a prominent Seattle attorney who influenced his son’s business career, Gates Jr. said. Originally, the Microsoft co-founder went by William Gates III, but as his fame grew, he picked up the ‘Junior’ suffix and his dad went by ‘Senior.’ Gates Jr. said his dad never used the name William H. Gates II, thinking it was ‘too stuffy.’

A U.S. Army veteran, prominent lawyer and philanthropist, Gates Sr. co-founded K & L Gates, one of the world’s largest law firms. He also took an interest in civic matters in the Seattle area, serving as a trustee of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Planned Parenthood and United Way.

Gates Sr. met his first wife, Mary, when the two were students at the University of Washington in Seattle, and the two were married until her death in 1994. In 1996, Gates Sr. married Mimi Gardner Gates, former director of the Seattle Art Museum.

Gates said that his father provided key legal counsel in Microsoft’s early days. He also served as a mentor to former Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz, investing in his bid to buy the coffeehouse chain in 1987 and helping him to stave off a challenge from a rival bidder.

‘When I was a kid, he wasn’t prescriptive or domineering, and yet he never let me coast along at things I was good at, and he always pushed me to try things I hated or didn’t think I could do (swimming and soccer, for example),’ Gates Jr. wrote in the tribute.

‘And he modeled an amazing work ethic. He was one of the hardest-working and most respected lawyers in Seattle, as well as a major civic leader in our region.’

 

AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK

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