Who else could have we begun with, but the person who has been designated ‘the world’s richest man’ for 17 years in a row? With a net worth of $54 billion, Bill Gates is the wealthiest person alive and here is his story.
First of all, you should know that he wasn’t born in an already fabulously rich family. His parents were considered to be members of the upper middle class, and he seemed to be a normal child in a normal home. His mom and dad were planning on making him a lawyer. Fortunately, their plan failed! Their son dropped out of Harvard and soon became the youngest self-made billionaire in the world!
So how did it all start? We guess it’s safe to say that the really interesting part of the story begins with 13-years-old Bill first seeing the computer of his school. Actually, it wasn’t really the school’s computer, as Lakeside Prep School only purchased some computer time from General Electric. They spend several thousand dollars for that and believed that their students would be able to use the device for a whole year. But Bill Gates and a few friends of him managed to spend all that precious computer time in just a few weeks!
Then, some time later, the Computer Center Operation opened in Seattle and they offered great rates. Bill was there every day, learning, advancing and finally getting banned for crashing the system and changing some data in order to get more free computer time.
Soon specialists saw the great potential he had and started encouraging him to do computer programming for money. He was very useful even for his school, where he created a program that would schedule students into classes. But he didn’t only serve his school when he did that: the young boy knew exactly how to make the computer ‘randomly’ put him in classes with almost only girls.
From here on his passion grew constantly and so did his knowledge. And this is how in his Junior year, Bill left Harvard and founded the Microsoft company together with his friend Paul Allen. (Remember his colleagues who had ‘helped’ him spend all the school’s computer time in a couple of weeks? Well Paul was one of them).
Now he is still a college dropout, but he earns some $243 a second, which translates into $500 million a month and $6 billion a year! Wow! But for that, he worked hard for years, and so did his employees. Which bring us to another interesting piece of information. Did you know that famous Bill Gates had a rather sarcastic method of dealing with some situations in his company?
For instance, when one of his men would hold a presentation that Gates didn’t consider to be too good, he would have no problems in saying stuff like: “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!” or “Why don’t you just give up your options and join the Peace Corps?”. Then, if an employee would prove to be a little lazy and postpone his work, Gates would just say “I’ll do it over the weekend.”
But one day the computer mogul announced that he planned to progressively reduce his working hours in the company and start dedicating more time and effort (and money, of course) to philanthropy. This was happening in 2006. Now his foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is one of the most generous institutions of its kind in the world. Gates also made the Giving Pledge, in which he agreed to give half of his wealth to charity.
But even so, this is a man has a wealth vast enough to afford a luxury life that many can only dream of. His home (and the property around it) alone has been estimated to have a total value of $125 million. The man has to pay taxes of about $991,000 for his estate every year. And what an estate that is! It boasts 66,000 square feet with a 2,500 sq-ft gym, a 1,000 sq-ft dining room and a 60 sq-ft swimming pool with underwater music system.
Oh, but the list of amenities doesn’t stop here! The earth-sheltered house, located in Medina suburb, Washington, and overlooking Lake Washington, has got heated floors all over and…heated driveway and walks! But still, nothing compares to the electronics in Gates’ residence. Fiber Optic communication cables run throughout the house to connect everything with the computer servers that boast Apple OS. Oops! We meant to say ‘Windows OS’, of course!
Every room has its own touch sensitive pad for music, light and climate control. But what’s even more interesting is that upon arrival guests receive small electronic pins that track them while they move in the house. The pins contain data about their wearers, including their preference in music, movies, TV programs, visual arts or room temperature.
Other interesting information about this luxury home include the fact that all bolts in the building are oriented in the same direction; Gates can fill his bathtub with a specific amount of water and a specific temperature on his way back from the office; there are 112 steps from the main floor to the main entry of the house; and there is a 10-car underground garage which can electronically transform into a basketball court.
So there is virtually nothing more that one could ask for in a lifetime. Overwhelming success, immense fortune, international fame, sheer luxury, and even a vital role in a major philanthropic foundation: this is the life of an admirable billionaire!
Now prepare yourself for another interesting story. The next wealthy man that we will write about is someone who loves to spend his fortune on extravagant parties and acquisitions. A man known for his incredibly expensive purchases of all kind. A Russian billionaire that everybody has heard of for sure – Roman Abramovich.