16 Things You Never Knew About Bill Gates
Most people know that Bill Gates is the tech entrepreneur that co-founded computer software company Microsoft and this led him to become the world's richest man. Outside of that, not many know a lot more about the man but he really has led an incredibly interesting life.
Here we take a look at some interesting facts about him and see what you really know about the man.
1. He Wrote His First Computer Program As a Teenager
Whilst studying at Lakeside Prep School, Gates wrote his first computer program on a General Electric computer which was an electronic version of tic-tac-toe that allowed the person to play against the computer.
Although this may not seem like a very big thing now (in fact, if youGoogle tic tac toe, you can play a game on the search engine's page) it was extremely impressive at the time given both the level of computing and Gates's age.
2. He Used His Coding Abilities To Meet Girls
When his school discovered his coding abilities, they asked whether he could program the school's computer program for scheduling students in classes of which he only too happily obliged.
However, Gates used this program to his advantage and made sure he was in as many classes as possible with a "disproportionate number of interesting girls."
3. He Read The Entire Encyclopedia
It may seem strange to us now that we can instantly google anything or have Wikipedia look something up for us but pre-internet days meant that books full of this information had to be printed and these were called Encyclopedias and these were used for reference but reading them whole would have been an incredible amount of information to take on board.
Gates's thirst for knowledge was so large, however, that he read the entire "World Book Encyclopedia" series during his teenage years.
4. He Got A Near Perfect Score On His SATs
Anyone who has ever had to sit their SATs will tell you just how hard these college admission tests are and given their wide array of subjects that they take in, getting a near perfect score is pretty darn hard but gates did just that when he got 1590 out of a possible of 1600 which then led him to get into Harvard Universtiy.
He did not, however, last very long there...
5. He Was A College Dropout
Despite getting amazing scores in his SATs and getting accepted into Harvard, Gates didn't see out his college education and actually dropped out of Harvard in 1975 in order to focus on Microsoft full time. Many tech entrepreneurs have become dropouts including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple.
That being said, bear in mind all of these people were extremely smart college dropouts and still studied very hard.
6. He Was Once Arrested
In 1977, around two years after dropping out of Harvard, Gates was pulled over by a police car in New Mexico when he ran a red light. It was then that the officer who pulled him over found out that he was actually driving without a license. Gates would later use this image of him in ads for Microsoft as a cheeky reference to the incident.
As his mugshot shows, he clearly wasn't too devastated about it.
7. He Used His Memory Skills To Check On Employees
When Microsoft was just starting out, Gates would memorize his employee's plates on their vehicles so that he could keep a check on their comings and goings and make sure they weren't doing him out of time. He did admit later that he had to let this practice go as soon as Microsoft became a bit of a bigger business.
"Eventually I had to loosen up, as the company got to a reasonable size," he said.
8. He's A Bit of A Petrol Head
Gates loves his cars and he mostly has a collection of Porsches that include a Porsche 959 sports car, which he bought 13 years before the car was approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Transportation.He has however tried out Tesla models and reckons Uber will be the future of transport.
He was also seen driving a Ford Focus in his leaving video when he stepped down as CEO of Microsoft.
9. He Used To Fly On The Cheap
When traveling by air Bill would fly coach as a sort of cost cutting measure but also to make a point of showing how he wasn't above anybody else in the company as it was company policy that all employees on business trips fly coach and so Bill did exactly the same even though he was the CEO.
In 1997 he bought his own plane and calls it "a big splurge" and a "guilty pleasure".
10. He Has An Interest In Da Vinci
Outside of his private jet, Gates also spent an enormous amount of money on the Codex Leicester, a collection of writings by Leonardo da Vinci. He bought it at a 1994 auction for $30.8 million which is a lot of money for some old ink and paper if you think about it but such is his prizing of knowledge, I guess he thought it was worth it.
The Codex provides an insight into the inquiring mind of the definitive Renaissance artist, scientist and thinker, as well as an exceptional illustration of the link between art and science and the creativity of the scientific process, and the manuscript holds the record for the sale price of any book.
11. His Kids Won't Inherit Much
Despite being the world's richest man, with an inordinate amount of wealth, Gates says his children won't receive much from inheritance as he only intends to leave them $10m each. That's still more money than most will ever see in their lives but it is nothing compared to his $81.1 billion net worth.
"Leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favor to them," he says and he intends to leave the rest to his charity, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in an attempt to wipe out global poverty and disease and he has encouraged 34 other billionaires to do the same.
12. He Still Works For Microsoft
Despite retiring from the CEO position in 2007 Gates remains a technology advisor for them and is still working with Microsoft on its "Personal Agent," which will "remember everything and help you go back and find things and help you pick what things to pay attention to."
His love of technology has kept him interested and alert on the industry for all these years although he does now spend most of his time now managing his charity foundation.
13. He Has An Interest In A.I
Gates says that had Microsoft not worked out he probably would have become a researcher on artificial intelligence (A.I) although he does have doubts about it and says he is "in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," due to its potential to affect humanity negatively.
Others who worry about the rise of A.I include tech giant Elon Musk and scientist Stephen Hawking.
14. He Loves His Music
Gates claims his favorite band is Californian pop-punks Weezer as well as having a bit of a thing for Irish alt-rockers U", which is slightly awkward given their regular collaborations with Apple. Gates also jokes that he is "waiting for Spinal Tap to go back on tour."
The fictional band from a spoof documentary film have actually toured a few times.
15. He Reads...A Lot!
Gates says he reads around 50 books a year and often releases a list of his books of the year or ones he thinks you should be reading in order to broaden your perspective. "Reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding," he says.
Given that his desire for knowledge is insatiable, this is perhaps not so surprising.
16. He Doesn't Know Any Foreign Languages
Despite having a desperate hunger for knowledge and new information, to date Gates knows no second language and claims it is his biggest regret in life thus far but there is still time for Bill to learn one although when you are as wealthy as he is, we guess you don't need another language.
After all, they say money talks.