Bill Gates Sr.
Bill Gates Sr.
William Henry Gates II
November 30, 1925
Bremerton, Washington, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Washington|
|Height||6 ft 6 in (198 cm)|
|Children||3; including Bill|
William Henry Gates II (born November 30, 1925), better known as Bill Gates Sr., is an American retired attorney and philanthropist, and author of the book Showing Up for Life: Thoughts on the Gifts of a Lifetime. He is the father of Bill Gates, the principal founder of Microsoft.
One of a line of businessmen named William H. Gates, and sometimes called William Gates Jr. during his career, he is now generally known as William Henry Gates Sr. due to the greater prominence of his son Bill Gates (whose full name is William Henry Gates III). He has adopted the suffix "Sr." to distinguish himself from his more famous son.
Gates was born in 1925 in Bremerton, Washington, to William Henry Gates I or Sr. (1891–1969) and Lillian Elizabeth Rice (1891–1966); the couple had married in 1913. His father ran a small town furniture store. His paternal grandmother was German and his maternal grandmother was English. He was apparently the third William Henry Gates, despite being named the second.
He was an active member of a Boy Scout troop for several years, and earned the Eagle Scout Award in 1941. After high school he enlisted in the United States Army, changing his name to William Gates Jr. to avoid the appearance of elitism. He served in the army for three years during World War II, and was honorably discharged in November 1946.
Gates attended the University of Washington (UW) under the G.I. Bill, earning a B.A. in 1949 and a law degree in 1950. While at Washington he joined the Chi Psi Fraternity. He co-founded Shidler & King in 1964, which later became Preston Gates & Ellis LLP. He practiced with the firm until 1998, when it was merged into the firm now known as K&L Gates (with which Bill Gates Sr. is not affiliated).
Gates has served as president of both the Seattle/King County Bar Association and the Washington State Bar Association. He has also served on the boards of numerous Northwest organizations, including the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, King County United Way and Planned Parenthood. In 1995, he founded the Technology Alliance whose mission is to expand technology-based employment in Washington.
In 1998, Gates retired from PGE. He served for fifteen years on the Board of Regents for the University of Washington, and is a co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which his son Bill and his daughter-in-law Melinda founded. He has served as a director for Costco Wholesale, a bulk retail corporation, since 2003. He is also a founding co-chair of the Pacific Health Summit.
William H. Gates Sr. serves as an Honorary Co-Chair for the World Justice Project. The project works to lead a global, multidisciplinary effort to strengthen the Rule of Law for the development of communities of opportunity and equity.
In 1951, he married Mary Maxwell Gates (b. 1929), whom he met at UW, and they remained married until her death in 1994. They had three children: Kristianne, Bill, and Libby. His two daughters, Kristi Blake and Libby Armintrout, are both active members of the UW community.
Awards and recognition
- Awarded Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, to acknowledge his business and civic success at least 25 years after earning Eagle Scout rank
- President of Seattle-King County Bar Association, 1969–1970
- President of Washington State Bar Association, 1986–1986
- Recipient of University of Washington School of Law Distinguished Alumnus, 1991
- Recipient of American Judicature Society's Herbert Harley Award, 1992
- Served on Board for Judicial Administration, Washington State Supreme Court, 1993–1995
- Served on Board of Regents, University of Washington, 1997–2012
- Inducted into American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2003
- William H. Gates Hall at UW's School of Law was named for him in 2003
- Public Education Foundation speaker at Edmonds-Woodway, 2004
- Awarded Washington Medal of Merit, 2009
- Recipient of Chi Psi Fraternity's Albert S. Bard Award, 2010, for contributions to the intellectual and cultural life of the community
- Recipient of UW Alumni Association's Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus (ASLD) Award, 2013
Bill Gates Sr. has generally been well liked and respected throughout his life and career. Bill Gerberding (UW president, 1979–1995) described him as "a good man with a big heart [and] generous public spirit", while former Seattle Mayor Norman Rice has characterized Gates' core values as "social justice and economic opportunity".
- Glascock, Stuart. "Mighty is the Man Who Wears the Purple and the Gold". UW Alumni Magazine. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
- "Bill Gates Fast Facts". CNN. March 2, 2018. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
- "Pierce County Auditor, Marriage Records, 1876-2013 – William H Gates Jr – Lillian Elizabeth Rice". Retrieved May 13, 2015.
- Reitwiesner, William Addams. "Ancestry of Bill Gates". Retrieved January 8, 2019.
- Manes, Stephen; Andrews, Paul (December 1992). Gates: How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry—and Made Himself the Richest Man in America. Doubleday. p. 12. ISBN 9780385420754.
- "Mr.William H.Gates, Sr". World Justice Project. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
- "Is Bill Gates a closet liberal?". Salon.com. January 29, 1998. p. 2. Archived from the original on September 18, 2007. Retrieved August 4, 2007.
- "Transcript: Bill Moyers Interviews Bill Gates". NOW on PBS. September 5, 2003.
- Cauce, Ana Mari (November 30, 2015). "Happy Birthday, Bill Gates Sr". University of Washington. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
- "About the Summit" (PDF). 2011. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
- "Table of contents for Wealth and our commonwealth : why America should tax accumulated fortunes / William H. Gates, Sr., and Chuck Collins". Library of Congress.
- "Wealth And Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes". 60 Plus Association. March 18, 2003. pp. 57–59.
- Townley, Alvin (January 2007). Legacy of Honor: The Values and Influence of America's Eagle Scouts. New York: St. Martin's Press (imprint: Thomas Dunne Books). pp. 172–175. ISBN 9780312366537. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
- Ray, Mark (2007). "What It Means to Be an Eagle Scout". Scouting. Retrieved January 5, 2007.
- "William H. Gates Hall". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. July 24, 2003. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
- "Office of Ceremonies: Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus Award Winners". University of Washington. Retrieved January 8, 2019.