To most every person in the United States, the name Bill Gates should at least sound familiar. The founder of tech-giant Microsoft, Bill Gates is and has been the richest man on earth for quite some time now. With a current net worth of $86.6B, Gates has held the title of Richest Man Alive for 18 out of the last 23 years.
However, as Bill Gates came to learn, after a certain amount of wealth, there’s not much more you can have or own or do, so you need to look for different ways to spend it.
Gates himself said, “Money has no utility to me beyond a certain point. Its utility is entirely in building an organization and getting the resources out to the poorest in the world.” So that’s what he and his wife, Melinda, decided to do.
From there, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was formed.
Their journey into the world of philanthropy began in 1997 when the couple was particularly moved by a piece written about the millions of children around the world in impoverished countries who die each year from maladies that have long ago been eliminated by medicine in the United States. Considering their already sizeable fortune, the two wondered if maybe there wasn’t something they could do about it. In that same year, Bill Gates took his first trip to India in the name of the Gates Foundation where he personally administered polio vaccines to local children.
The couple has taken a particular interest in issues concerning health around the globe and their work and initiatives are reflective of this. They’ve partnered with organizations like the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, launched programs like the HIV/AIDS Prevention Branch in India, granted money to help fight malaria, and is actively working to end polio.
Where other philanthropists give their money to such causes but pledge their time elsewhere, Bill and Melinda Gates willingly step right into the thick of the poverty and help those in need face to face.
They’re also incredibly active in other areas; their work extends to areas like education, world hunger, and clean energy. Together this couple is helping to make the world a better place through their plan to donate all of their wealth before the end of their lives.