William Henry Gates, III was born on October 28, 1955 in Seattle, Washington. Like him or loathe him, Mr. Gates possesses all of the qualifications needed for birthday well-wishes on this blog: He is a Dad (a father of three) and he is definitely a Geek.
Gates founded "Micro-soft" with Paul Allen in 1975. (The hyphen was dropped a year later.) Throughout the early years of the company, he oversaw business details while continuing to write code. It is widely reported that Gates would review all of the code the company put out line-by-line, and would make changes to it as he saw fit.
Microsoft got its start by creating a BASIC interpreter for the Altair computer. It then formed a partnership with IBM to provide the PC-DOS operating system in 1980. In 1985, Microsoft Windows was first released to the retail public, and the rest, as they say, is computing history.
In 2000, Gates announced that he was stepping down as CEO of Microsoft, in order concentrate full-time on philanthropic endeavors. He and wife Melinda (nèe French) established the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which helps fund many charitable organizations and scientific research programs. The foundation reported in 2007 that it had an endowment totaling $38.7 billion USD, and that it had paid out over $2 million USD in grants, in just that year alone.
Please join all of us at GeekDad in wishing Bill Gates a very happy 56th birthday, and many more!
[A version of this article was published on GeekDad on this date in 2008.]