Net Worth, $75 Billion
Source of Wealth, Microsoft
In the List of Billionaires, the name Bill Gates has perennially stayed at or near the top in both terms of net worth and influence. Even if you’ve never heard of Bill Gates, there’s a good chance you’re using one of his company’s products just to read this.
Born October 28, 1955, Bill Gates founded Microsoft with Paul Allen. While still a student at Harvard University, Gates took a leave of absence from his studies in 1975 in order to pursue Microsoft’s development. With Gates at the helm, Microsoft became the worldwide leader in home operating systems and other tech products by the mid 1990s.
For the 2016 rankings, Gates remains the richest human on the planet, according to Forbes magazine. Forbes estimated Gates to be worth $75 billion, down from the previous year’s $79.2 billion. This is the 17th time the 60-year-old Gates has made the list out of the past 22 years.
In 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was created as an outlet for Gates and his wife’s philanthropic endeavors. By 2007, the Gates had donated over $28 billion to charity. Gates stepped down as Chairman of Microsoft by 2008 and has since spent most of his time focusing on the foundation’s work.
Gates has used his fortune and charitable work as a trend-setting influence on other billionaires. With an eventual goal of donating 95% of his wealth to charity, Gates has also created the “Gates-Buffet Giving Pledge.” Signed by Gates and fellow billionaires Warren Buffet (Berkshire-Hathaway) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), the billionaires pledge to donate at least half of their wealth to charity.