Bill Gates before Microsoft

Essay by TarzA-, May 2006

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I selected Bill Gates because he is a very important person today, and I didn't know much about him other than he was the richest man in the world. I wanted to know how or why he became so successful. Also, I wanted to know why he is such a controversial person.

Facts in Brief

Birth: October 28th, 1955 in Seattle Washington

Parents: William H. and Mary Gates

Education: Lakeside, a private high school, and a major of Prelaw at Harvard


Bill was the second of three children. His father was a lawyer. His mother was very active in business, education, public service, and was on the board of United Way. Growing up, school was very easy for him and he learned very quickly. Most people who knew him say that it was impossible to win an argument against him because he knew so much. Socially, he was an outcast; his interests were very different from others.


By 1970, he was sent to a private school in Seattle called Lakeside because he was gifted. There he discovered computers and fell in love with them. His school bought computer time for a year, but he used it up in a week. He was addicted.

He became good friends with Paul Allen, another computer whiz. Pretty soon, they became very good programmers. To learn more about computers, they would sometimes climb into trash bins of local computer companies to find programmers' old notes.

Finally, he got a job working out computer bugs. Soon, Paul and he also organized a company called the Traf-o-data; it recorded traffic data for his town and it was very profitable. He also developed some programs for his school. One kept track of pay roll, and the other kept track of class scheduling; it also put...