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Business mogul, chairman of Microsoft, author, philanthropist, William Henry Gates III, more commonly known as Bill Gates has left a mark in history. Gates is most noted for being the co-founder of the software company Microsoft and recently for being named 2009’s Richest Person in America by Forbes Magazine.
With all of these achievements under his belt Gates is using the second half of his life to give back to the world. His philanthropy work has taken his accomplishments to a new level.
Click ahead to see how!
At age nineteen (1975) Bill Gates and high school classmate Paul Allen formed Microsoft. By the 1980s Microsoft developed an operating system for IBM and created innovative software for Apple. Between 1978 and 1981 Microsoft revenue increased from $4 to $6 million. In 1983, 30% of personal computers were using Microsoft software.
Gates introduced Microsoft Windows and later it became the signature software for most PCs. By 1997, Microsoft delve into the internet market and included Explorer on every copy of Microsoft Windows.
In 2000, after Gates stepped down as CEO of Microsoft he formed The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which supports health and education projects throughout the world. Bill and his wife Melinda’s initial goal was to provide poor countries the same health care that is available in the United States.
The foundation supports grantees in the U.S. as well as more than 100 countries worldwide. They built a headquarters in Seattle, Washington and later established offices in Washington, DC, India, China and the United Kingdom. Shown here is the foundation's new campus scheduled to open in the spring 2011.
The foundation is divided by three main programs Global Development, Global Health and a United States Program. From the start of the foundation until September 2009 the total grant commitment is $21 billion. The total 2008 grant payments are $2.8 billion.
Global Development – Focuses on agricultural development, financial services for the poor, special initiatives (libraries, emergency relief, urban poverty, financial services for the poor). In 2008 $462 million was allocated to grants in the Global Development Program.
Global Health Program – Similar to the Global Development program their goal is to reduce poverty, hunger as well as prevent and fight HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases. $1.8 billion were grants paid towards the Global Health Program in 2008.
United States Program – Concentrate on education (postsecondary degrees), libraries, homelessness, emergency relief efforts. In 2008 Grants paid to United States Programs estimated to $519 million.
The Gates Foundation asset trust endowment for 2009 is $34.17 billion. The endowment includes gifts from the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett. Buffett has contributed four installments since 2006 totaling to $6.4 billion.
Mission: Expand childhood immunization and vaccines in poor countries
Grant: $1.5 billion
Countries: 67 countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Kenya, etc.,.
Mission: Reduce financial barriers for minorities (African-American, Hispanic Americans, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American)
Grant: $1.3 billion
Country: United States
Mission: Improve cropping conditions for African farmers
Grant: $456 million
Mission: To support global polio eradication
Grant: $355 million
Countries: Nigeria, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan
Mission: Reduce newborn deaths and increase survival in the high-mortality rate
Grant: $112 million
Countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam.
The Gates Foundation was considered the second most generous philanthropist in America with contributions more than $28 billion to charity in 2007. Today, the foundation is working on their Living Proof Project which continues to support those in need.