William Henry "Bill" Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, investor, programmer, inventor and philanthropist. Gates is the former chief executive and current chairman of Microsoft, the world’s largest personal-computer software company, which he co-founded with Paul Allen.
He is consistently ranked in the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people and was the wealthiest overall from 1995 to 2009—excluding 2008, when he was ranked third; in 2011 he was the wealthiest American and the world's second wealthiest person. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires List, Gates is the world's richest person in 2013, a position that he last held on the list in 2007.
The United States of America (USA), commonly referred to as the United States (US), America, or simply the States, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states, 16 territories, and a federal district. The 48 contiguous states and the federal district of Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also has five populated and nine unpopulated territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean. The largest of these territories are Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands which are an official part of the United States. At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) in total and with around 316 million people, the United States is the fourth-largest country by total area and third largest by population. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The geography and climate of the United States is also extremely diverse, and it is home to a wide variety of wildlife.
Paleo-indians migrated from Asia to what is now the U.S. mainland around 15,000 years ago, with European colonization beginning in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. Disputes between Great Britain and these colonies led to the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously issued the Declaration of Independence. The ensuing war ended in 1783 with the recognition of independence of the United States from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and was the first successful war of independence against a European colonial empire. The current Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. The first 10 amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and guarantee many fundamental civil rights and freedoms.
According to Forbes 2013 ranking of the world's billionaires, Nigerian business magnate Aliko Dangote with a net worth of $16.1 billion is the world's richest black person. The other Blacks on the list are Nigeria's Mike Adenuga with $4.7 billion, South African gold magnate Patrice Motsepe with $2.9 billion, and American Oprah Winfrey at $2.8 billion.
From 2001 to 2003, Forbes listed American television network executive Bob Johnson as a billionaire, but dropped him after his fortune was split in his divorce.]when?[ He returned to Forbes Billionaire list in 2007 with a net worth of $1.1 billion. In 2008 Johnson's wealth dropped again, this time to approximately $1.0 billion and by 2009 he fell off the list again.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF or the Gates Foundation) is the largest private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. It is "driven by the interests and passions of the Gates family." The primary aims of the foundation are, globally, to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and in America, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology. The foundation, based in Seattle, Washington, is controlled by its three trustees: Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Other principal officers include Co-Chair William H. Gates, Sr. and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Raikes.
It had an endowment of US$38.3 billion as of 30 June 2013[update]. The scale of the foundation and the way it seeks to apply business techniques to giving makes it one of the leaders in the philanthrocapitalism revolution in global philanthropy, though the foundation itself notes that the philanthropic role has limitations. In 2007, its founders were ranked as the second most generous philanthropists in America, and Warren Buffett the first. As of May 16, 2013, Bill Gates had donated US$28 billion to the foundation.