Bill Gates Net Worth: $81.5 billion
Source of Wealth: IT, Microsoft
As of this writing, Gates is the second richest man in the world, with a net worth of $81.5 billion to his name. He is currently behind Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico, whose business empire consist of mining companies, telcos, real estate development firms, and financial investment companies among others.
Helu’s net worth is $84.8 billion, a figure observers believe Gates can pass, especially now that he has announced to spend more of his time and energy discussing business with his product managers. Google and Apple have been outshining Microsoft for quite a while now but the Gates-founded enterprises are expected to create some significant moves following the recent acquisition of the Finland-based tech and communications company Nokia and the internet communications company Skype.
Also, many analysts point out Gates’ sizable donations and pledges to charitable causes comprise a huge chunk of his fortune. Among the causes Gates and his foundation are focused on are renewable energy, Ebola, polio, potable water in African countries, and agriculture among others.
Although no longer the Chairman of Microsoft, Gates is still viewed as the company’s leader. Recent reorganization has led to the installation of Satya Nadella as CEO. Judging by his recent business engagements, Gates is serious about driving Microsoft to the top once more.
Hailed the “Richest Man” in the world for 15 out of the past 20 years, it is easy to see how Bill Gates rose from obscurity to prominence. The man built a technology empire from scratch, provided machines and innovations that helped revolutionize the way we do things, and helped shape the modern world we are now living in.
He is a visionary whose contributions to computing, computer software, consumer electronics, and entertainment are forever cemented in the annals of human history. Bill is known primarily as the founder of Microsoft, the tech giant that now produces computer software, operating systems, and has business engagements in major industries such as mobile and internet communications. But aside from being a corporate head honcho, Bill is also very active in the field of philanthropy, pouring billions to charitable causes all over the world via the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a charity arm co-founded and headed by Bill and his wife Melinda Gates.
Still, he is widely recognized as the world’s richest man for a long time. A fact that will be forever recorded in the history books and will never go away. Here’s a few details of Gate’s net worth when he was the world’s wealthiest resident.
- 1994 – $9.35 billion
- 1995 – $12.9 billion
- 1996 – $18.5 billion
- 1997 – $40 billion
- 1998 – $50 billion
- 1999 – $136 billion
- 2000 – $60 billion
- 2001 – $58.7 billion
- 2002 – $40.7 billion
- 2003 – $52.8 billion
- 2004 – $46.6 billion
- 2005 – $46.5 billion
- 2006 – $53 billion
- 2007 – $56 billion
- 2009 – $50 billion
- 2014 – $81 billion
In 2008, Warren Buffet became the wealthiest man on the planet, just edging Gates in the early part of the year. But Gates reclaimed the top spot the following year.
Gates and his wife Melinda have spent a large portion of their fortune to forward several charitable causes and philanthropic endeavors. The couple created the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 1997 and is now one of the largest transparent private organizations in the world. Initially founded to help advance health care and reduce extreme poverty in poor nations, the organization has now extended its focus on renewable energy, clean and potable water, gun control, education, and agriculture.
Here are some of the foundation’s recent donations and pledges to their causes.
Genetically enhanced “Super Bananas” – $10 Million
This project aims to produce an improved variant of Ugandan bananas enriched with Vitamin A. Bananas are a staple food in many African countries yet it lacks the nutrients required for daily human energy consumption, particularly Vitamin A. Low intake of the said vitamin leads to a weakened immune system and blindness. The consumption of the super bananas showed positive signs when fed to Mongolian gerbils. The $10-million “Super Bananas” project is a partnership between the Gates Foundation and the Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities at Queensland University of Technology in Australia.
Malaria Research – $258.3 Million
Gates is very passionate about ending the malaria epidemic in Africa and the rest of the world. Describing malaria as the “forgotten epidemic”, the billionaire has pledged a total of $258.3 million for the research and development of a malaria vaccine, new drugs, and innovative mosquito control methods. “If we expand malaria control programs, and invest what’s needed in R&D, we can stop this tragedy.” said Gates.
Renewable Energy Funding – $35 Million
Bill Gates, together with other stakeholders, has invested $35 million for the research and development of the Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI) battery technology. The company behind the project, Aquion Energy, claims that AHI will have positive impacts and may help curb the world’s dependency on traditional energy sources and storage systems. AHI, according to the company, is “optimized for stationary energy storage applications including off-grid and micro-grid systems, commercial and industrial energy storage, and grid scale applications.”
There is no doubt that many will remember Gates as the world’s richest man, the co-founder and leader of Microsoft, and the generous benefactor who championed causes to better and push humanity forward. In a tributary interview for Steve Jobs, Gates came out as a humble human being, who admitted that Jobs, a long time rival who gave Gates and Microsoft a run for their money, was the better man in so many ways.
“He was brilliant. He had his own style, his own approach and mine is a little geekier than his was,” Gates spoke of Jobs admiringly.
But while Jobs and Apple may have beaten Microsoft almost to a pulp, Gates will be more remembered than the Apple co-founder. When pitting leaders against each other, Jobs may have the upper hand when it comes to products. But ultimately, it is Bill Gates who has done so much more because leaders are judged based on not just what they accomplished, but also on what they are remembered and revered for.