Bill Gates

  • Enrolls in Lakeside School

    Enrolls in Lakeside School
    Exclusive private school in Seattle, where he befriended Paul Allen.
  • Enter Harvard

    Enter Harvard
    Entered Harvard as a pre-law major, but soon shifted focus. Takes most rigorous math and grad level computer science courses.
  • Call MITS

    Call MITS
    Offers to develop software for the MITS Altair. MITS accepts and buys his language for $3,000 plus royalties
  • Register

    Gates and Allen register trademark 'Microsoft'.
  • Year-end sale

    Year-end sale
    Microsoft's year-end sale exceeded $1 millon. Gates gains a reputation for being tough, but focused
  • Incorporation

    Microsoft incorporates and buys the right to the opening system "DOS" from Seattle Computer Porducts.
  • Allen

    Paul Allen leaves Microsoft after developing Hodgkin's disease. Microsoft announces Windows as an extension of its MS-DOS operating system.
  • Billion

    Age 31, Gates becomes the youngest billionaire ever and meets his future wife Melinda French at a Microsoft event in New York
  • Corbis

    Founds Corbis, an archive of art and photography from public and private collections
  • Foundation

    Gates weds Melinda, later to have three children. The Gates consolidate their charitable giving under the Willima H. Gates Foundation, later absorbed into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Richest Man

    Richest Man
    With a $12.9 billion fortune, Gates is the world's richest man
  • Books

    Gates publishes another best-selling book, 'Business @ the Speed of Light'
  • CEO

    Gates steps down as Microsoft CEO. Former Harvard dorm-mate and right-hand man Steve Ballmer takes over. Gates becomes chief software architect.
  • Knighthood

    Queen Elizabeth II bestows honorary knighthood to Gates for contributions to United Kingdom. 'Times' names in "Person of the Year".
  • Graduate

    Gates graduates from Harvard, given an honorary degree