Context is everything. Human beings are complex and intricately nuanced. While there could doubtless be a myriad reasons behind a persons actions, aspirations and beliefs, it is possible to learn the events, and, albeit to a limited degree, the circumstances surrounding them. So by placing Gates in historical context and understanding significant moments of his life it might be possible to glean some insight into the man behind the myth.
Visionary, entrepreneur, philanthropist, are some of the words that come to mind when we think of Bill Gates. Gates is undoubtedly one of the most influential technological titans of the 20th and 21st century. Although initially known as the forward-thinking genius behind Microsoft’s rise to dominance, Gates has since proven himself to be just as savvy in his humanitarian endeavors as he is in business matters. Through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates has managed to further the a number of humanitarian programs aimed at improving the overall quality of life for those in the developing world. Of course, it would be both disingenuous and naive to characterize Gates through such rose-colored lenses. After all, Gates’ was no stranger to controversy. It was under his leadership that his company, Microsoft, faced a string of investigations in the 1990s.
This begs the certain questions. What events in his life helped shape his views and influence his actions? Who were the significant people in his life? What were the major turning points in Gates’ life? Understanding the answers to these questions helps place Gates in context.