“A huge part of his contribution was not only the strategic focus and the institutional structure of the foundation, but he helped to establish the principles we worked with,” Ms Stonesifer said of Mr. Gates Sr. in an interview with this obituary in January. “He was a daily reminder that just because you have a checkbook does not mean you have knowledge or experience of the issues we are trying to solve; that we need to listen to the people who have experience and knowledge. ”
Bill Gates Jr. credited his father with the early success of the foundation. “I make sure the resources are available and he works to use the money wisely,”
A prominent Seattle lawyer with heavy civil and professional obligations, Mr. Gates Sr., had largely left to his wife, Mary, the duty to raise their two daughters and a son, Bill, who all agreed, became unbearably argumentative as a boy – resisting his mother’s requests that he clean up his room, that he stops biting his pencils, and that he sits down to dinner on time.
Their testament to testament exploded one evening at the dinner table, where Bill yelled at his mother in what he described to The Wall Street Journal years later as “complete, total, sarcastic, smart-ass rudeness.” In response, his father threw in “a rare temper,” wrote The Journal, a glass of water in his son’s face.
Young Bill was led to a therapist who advised his parents to facilitate discipline. They sent him to Lakeside, a private prep school in Seattle, where he had access to computers. There he met Paul Allen, a student computer whiz.
Years later, the parents joined when Bill stopped Harvard and moved to Albuquerque, where he and Mr. Allen founded Microsoft in 1975.
Microsoft grew into the world’s largest company in the field of personal computer software. Its public offering in 1986 turned its founders into billionaires and 12,000 employees into millionaires. It became one of America’s most valuable listed companies – the third after Apple and Amazon to reach the magic trillion dollar market value.