10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bill Gates
Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is a public figure that most people know quite a lot about. From his current status as the world’s second-richest man to his many charitable foundations and political stands on public education, he is quite possibly one of the most interesting entrepreneurs around. But, as with many public figures, this kind of knowledge only scratches the surface of who the man really is.
While many interviews that Gates participates in ask the run-of-the-mill questions, some have gone beyond the norm to engage the Microsoft guru on a more personal level. So, from across the Web, here are some of the highlights of the most interesting interviews and 10 things that you probably didn’t know about the Microsoft billionaire, Mr. Bill Gates.
1. He listens to Bruno Mars & Lady Gaga. While these artists may not top his “most played” list, he certainly has a concept of who they are…thanks to his children. Gates laughed as he told the Daily Mail in an interview how he is teased by his three kids (Jennifer, 15, Rory, 12, and Phoebe, 9) when they sing the lyrics of ‘Billionaire’ to him aloud at home. Smiling, he even sang a few bars…
2. He is a “hands-on” father who doesn’t spoil his children. Unlike many other parents who have the ability to give their children anything that they desire, Gates works very hard to make sure that his family life is not greatly affected by his fortune. He told the Daily Mail in an interview that his children are taken care of and will be provided the best education, but that they are otherwise very normal kids. They have chores, are often found cruising the streets with their dad in the family minivan, and will be expected to choose a job and work when the time comes.
3. His first computer software program was a game. That’s right, while he is famous for the legacy that is Microsoft, everyone has to start somewhere. For Mr. Gates, this was writing a tic-tac-toe game that allowed the end user to battle out the classic game of X’s and O’s against the computer.
4. His close friends list includes U2 star, Bono. When the Daily Mail asked about his friendship with U2 legend Bono, Gates said that the two had been friends for years and that the musician stayed at his home while in Seattle performing. In fact, Gates took time out of his schedule to attend the U2 concert, taking his daughter and three of her friends along with him.
5. He owns historic artifacts of Da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, and Isaac Newton. While some would assume that because Gates made his fortune in the tech industry he would not have an appreciation for history, they would be dead wrong. In fact, Gates said that if his home ever caught fire, one of the first things that he would rescue would be the Codex Leicester, a Da Vinci notebook valued at more than $30 million.
6. He is social media savvy. While it may come as a bit of a surprise, Bill Gates admits to having his own personal account on both Twitter and Facebook. Not surprisingly, he also said, “I had a problem with Facebook, because the friend requests got out of hand.”
7. He doesn’t want a legacy. In fact, Gates went so far as to call the entire idea of legacy “stupid.” What is his goal, then? Gates told the Daily Mail, he desires to empower people and to be a part of finding and distributing a malaria vaccine. “Understanding science and pushing the boundaries of science is what makes me immensely satisfied.”
8. He self-identifies as a “geek.” While the term geek may have been used by some in a derogatory way to describe Gates, he laughs off this label completely. He says, “Hey, if being a geek means you’re willing to take a 400-page book on vaccines and where they work and where they don’t, and you go off and study that and use that to challenge people to learn more, then absolutely, I am a geek. I plead guilty. Gladly!”
9. He is an avid reader. His love for books is evident to those who have visited his home and seen his personal library. While Gates says that he appreciates the convenience of digital reading devices and believes that this technology will eventually take over the market, he still prefers the more traditional method of reading. “It is just nice to open a book.” He says.
10. He made a near perfect score on the SAT, then dropped out of school. For most college bound kids, the ultimate goal is to test high on standardized tests and use that as a jumping off platform for future greatness. While Gates SAT score weighed in at an impressive 1590 (out of 1600 possible), he felt that his time was better spent working and running his own business than sitting and learning in a classroom. So, before graduating, he dropped out to pursue his own way in the world. Before leaving school, Gates is said to have told a professor that he would be a millionaire by age 30. He, in fact, became a billionaire at age 31.
Gates has been called, by many, socially awkward, brilliant, and a technological genius. While these things all may be quite true, this rare glimpse into Gates’ personal life tells a little more of the story. While he may be naturally shy of publicity and uncomfortable in interviews, one thing is certainly clear… Gates still has a lot left to achieve in his life and the drive and passion to do it all.