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William Henry Gates III, better known as Bill Gates, was born on 28 October 1955 in Seattle, Washington. He is best known as co-founder of software giant Microsoft Corporation, a company he and Paul Allen bootstrapped in 1979. The enormous success of Microsoft has amassed the entrepreneur an astounding fortune, earning him the title of "richest man in the world" from 1995 to 2007, according to Forbes Magazine. As of 2013, Gates' net worth is estimated at $67 billion US Dollars (USD).


Bill Gates was born to a well-to-do family, his father a successful lawyer, and his mother a board member for First Interstate Bank. He has two siblings, Kristianne and Libby. Throughout grammar school, he excelled in math and science, and enrolled in Lakeside, an exclusive preparatory school.

At Lakeside, the young man was exposed to his first computers in the form of Teletype terminals networked to a remote server. Use of the Teletype required purchasing time blocks from the server. Gates and his Lakeside friends were banned from one system after administrators learned the kids were exploiting flaws in the system to acquire free time.

Gates quickly developed a passionate interest in computer operating systems, source code, and computer languages, including BASIC, FORTRAN, LISP, and COBOL. He and Allen were soon getting work searching for vulnerabilities in existing systems and writing proprietary programs. By age 14, Gates founded a short-lived venture with Allen that earned him $20,000 USD in the first year.


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