"It was a phenomenal trip," says Gates. "Not long after we returned from this trip, Melinda and I read that millions of poor children in Africa were dying every year from diseases that nobody dies from in the U.S: measles, hepatitis B, yellow fever. Rotavirus, a disease I had never even heard of, was killing half a million kids each year.
"We thought if millions of children were dying, there would be a massive worldwide effort to save them. But we were wrong."
One of the primary missions of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is to alleviate hunger and extreme poverty around the world.
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Gates is famously an introvert — one of his favorite TED talks is "The Power of Introverts" — but he also was pretty hard to deal with in the office.
Joel Spolsky, the CEO of the network of question-and-answer sites Stack Overflow and co-founder of the software company and incubator Fog Creek Software, recalls his first performance review with Gates when Spolsky worked for him at Microsoft in 1992. The team would count how many times Gates used the F word, he writes.
Gates used the profanity only four times during Spolsky's performance review, and that was the lowest tally anyone could remember.
Reflecting on his brush exterior, Gates says he was, at the time, immature.
"I wasn't very good socially back then but I am not sure there is advice that would fix that — maybe I had to be awkward and just grow up," says Gates.