Bill Gates

Bill Gates has been one of the most recognizable names of the last two decades. As the face of Microsoft, Gates has built a tech empire and has become a worldwide leader in home operating systems and technology. Products stemmed from the Microsoft brand can be found virtually anywhere you turn. Bill Gates has consistently been named the richest man in the world 16 out of the last 21 years.

Showing an interest in technology in his early years, Gates created his first software program at the age of 13. He attended Harvard University, but took a leave of absence to pursue the development of Microsoft with his long-time friend Paul Allen.

Bill Gates is widely praised for his philanthropic efforts. Gates and his wife started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, which has donated over $28 billion to various charities. He, along with several other billionaires including Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet, have pledged to donate a majority of their fortunes to charity. He’s received countless awards for his philanthropy including being named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people of the 20th century as well as one of Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year in 2005, along with his wife Melinda.