Bill Gates Sr.: The ‘conscience of the Gates family’ dies at 94

Bill Gates Sr.: The 'conscience of the Gates family' dies at 94

The father of the well-renowned Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates Sr. has passed away at the age of 94, as confirmed by the Gates family.

Bill Gates Sr. was wildly know for guiding his son with his philanthropic projects while Bill Jr. handled running Microsoft. According to The New York Timesthe Gates family confirmed his death on Monday.

Bill Sr. died at his beach home on Hood Canal in Seatle. The cause of death was reportedly due to Alzheimer’s disease.

Bill Gates Sr.: How he spearheaded son’s philanthropy quest

The news publication further narrates how Bill Sr. guided his son to become such a philanthropic billionaire.

The year was 1994 and Bill was just planning to retire from his law practice at the age of 69. Microsoft founder, his son, Bill Gates, told his father that he is overwhelmed with “appeals for charity.”

Sadly, the tech billionaire was “far too busy” his empire, Microsoft, to take on more work. Bill Sr. offered his services, sifting through paper works and sending out checks, which his son agreed on.

The Microsoft founder handed US$100 million to kick start the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Although at the time the foundation was named after Bill Sr., William H. Gates. Bill and Melinda decided to merge all three of the family foundation into one by the year 2000.

Bill Sr. was keen on establishing the goals and visions of his son’s foundation today—improving global health. He managed the foundation over the next 13 years of his supposed retired life.

CBS quotes Bill Gates Jr.’s tribute to his father, saying:

“My dad’s wisdom, generosity, empathy, and humility had a huge influence on people around the world.”

The “conscience of the Gates family”

In support of Bill Jr.’s statement to his father. The Chronicle of Philanthropy columnist, Pablo Eisenberg, told The New York Times:

I consider Bill Gates Sr. the conscience of the Gates family. He was instrumental in not only starting the foundation but growing it, and his motive was that with all that money, you ought to do good.”

Before Bill Sr. dedicated the remaining years of his life eradicating polio and funding vaccine research for AIDS, he was a veteran. He joined the Army during World War II after his freshman year at the University of Washington.

Before returning to the United States to finish his education, Bill Sr. served a year in the “war-torn Tokyo.”

This only goes to show that Bill Gates Sr. lived his life devoting his life to serving people.


Featured image courtesy Bill Gates/YouTube Screenshot

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