Bill Gates topped the list of the world’s richest men for 11 years until he was displaced in 2008. He made his first fortune through the establishment of a software company, Microsoft. The company was founded in 1975 alongside his bosom friend, Paul Allen. The wide acceptance of the firm’s products earned it a place among tech giants across the globe. Without any doubt, this feat significantly soared the net worth of Bill Gates. Nonetheless, Bill Gates’ net worth has continued to dip in the past few decades, courtesy of his massive contribution to various charity causes. Gates is one of the biggest philanthropists around. So far, he has donated more than $79 billion to his Foundation. He also donated a significant portion of his Microsoft shares to the initiative. The Foundation was founded by Bill Gates and his ex-wife, Melinda. Recall that the couple ended their 27-year marriage in 2021. As part of the divorce settlement, the tech expert transferred about $6 billion worth of his shares in various companies to Melinda. Unfortunately, the settlement had a significant toll on his wealth. In 2023, the net worth of Bill Gates, according to Forbes, is estimated to be around $116.6 billion. With this twelve-figure net worth, he ranks sixth on the list of wealthiest individuals in the world. Bill Gates’ Net Worth Since 2019 YearNet Worth2019$96.5 billion2020$98 billion2021$124 billion2022$129 billion2023$116.6 billion Early Life William Henry Gates was born on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington. He’s the son of William H. Gates Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates. Bill Gates comes from a noble family due to the affluence of his parents and grandparents. His father was a popular lawyer, while his mother was a member of the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way of America. More so, his maternal grandfather, J.W. Maxwell once served as the president of a national bank. Bill Gates and his family lived in the SandPoint area of Seattle. However, the apartment was destroyed by a tornado when he was seven years old. His family often attends a Congregational Christian Church, a Protestant Reformed denomination. While he was growing up, the family embraced a culture that encouraged healthy competition among the children. With this, the parents usually reward their children for every success in their endeavors. Initially, his parents wanted him to study law but Gates was only passionate about computer programming. While he was 13, he enrolled in the private Lakeside prep school where he wrote his first computer program. Gates’ demonstrated interest in programming the GE system in BASIC at a tender age. By virtue of this, he was excluded from math classes to focus on projects. This opportunity made it possible for him to design a software that allows users to play games against the computer. After showing flashes of his computer programming talents, a Lakeside teacher drafted Gates and his friend to automate the school’s class-scheduling system. The teacher encouraged the duo with computer time and royalties to fast-track the development of the software. Unexpectedly, Gates’s partner died in a mountain climbing accident. Therefore, he had to reach out to Allen, another friend to assist him in the completion of the project. While he was 17, Gates alongside Allen established a venture; Traf-O-Data. The duo focused on making traffic counters using the Intel 8008 processor. Thereafter, in 1972, he served as a congregational page in the House of Representatives. Upon his graduation from Lakeside School in 1973, Gates won the National Merit Scholar. Later, he took Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) where he scored 1590 out of 1600. The same year, he enrolled at Harvard College. There, he opted for a pre-law major but did mathematics and graduate-level computer science courses. While at Harvard, Gates met Steve Ballmer who later succeeded him as Microsoft CEO. He designed an algorithm for pancake sorting which he presented to Professor Harry Lewis in a combinatorics class. In 1975, Gated alongside Allen conceived the idea of establishing their software company. Later, Gates, after receiving the backing of his parents, dropped out of Harvard to establish a software firm. Microsoft In January 1975, Gates read an edition of “Popular Electronics” which illustrated the Altair 8800, a microcomputer designed by Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS). Therefore he reached out to MIT, indicating that he and Allen were working on a BASIC interpreter for the company. Gates made the claim to attract the attention of the company. Later, his plan went as intended as the company eventually struck a deal with him and Allen. The deal earned Allen employment with MITS. Consequently, Gates took a leave of absence from school to join his friend. As a result of the deal, Allen and Gates named their partnership with MITS “Micro-Soft.” The name is a combination of “microcomputer” and “software.” The first office of the firm was situated in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They hired Ric Weiland, their high school associate. The duo removed the “hyphen” in the name of the brand shortly after the deal manifested. On November 26, 1976, they officially registered the firm as “Microsoft” with the Secretary of the State of New Mexico. As the company began to find its feet, Gates opted to drop out of Harvard to focus fully on its development. Around late 1976, Microsoft became an autonomous firm after breaking away from MITS. With this, the firm began to focus on the development of programming software for numerous systems. Shortly after, it became a household name in the tech industry. On January 1, 1979, Microsoft moved from Albuquerque to Bellevue, Washington. While the company was in its growing stage, Gates dedicated his time to writing and reviewing every line of code to ensure that they were in the best state. As the company grew, Gates took up its management role. In 1981, he alongside Neil Konzen wrote DONKEY.BAS; a computer game that came with early versions of the PC DOS operating system. The development surfaced shortly after Microsoft and IBM penned a collaborative agreement. That year, Gates oversaw the company’s restructuring. The restructuring re-incorporated Microsoft in Washington and also led to his emergence as the president and chairman of the company’s board. Also, the restructuring facilitated the emergence of Paul Allen as vice president and vice chairman. Two years later, Paul Allen left Microsoft due to a Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis. The issue ended the official business collaboration between the duo. Before leaving Microsoft, Gates and Allen had issues with one another due to a contentious conflict over Microsoft equity. On November 20, 1985, Gates oversaw the launch of Microsoft’s first retail “Windows.” The tech mogul introduced the software to tackle Apple’s Macintosh GUI. Then, the Macintosh GUI was dominating the market owing to its simplicity and user-friendly features. The following year, Microsoft penned a separate agreement with IBM to design an operating system known as OS/2. After the successful development of the first version of the new system, the collaboration broke down. Over the years, Miscrosft transitioned into a prominent force under the guidance of Gates. During this period, Gates amended his relationship with Allen, and they both donated millions to their childhood school Lakeside. They remained good friends until Allen’s death. While at Microsoft, Gates participated in the development of various projects in an unofficial capacity. Despite his official recognition as the manager and top executive member, he still worked on the development of several Microsoft products by himself. He designed the codes that shipped with Microsoft’s products. Gradually, Gates began reducing his role at Microsoft to focus more on philanthropy. Driven by his commitment to the new project, he divided his responsibilities between Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie. He tasked the former with his management responsibility and the latter with the firm’s long-term product strategy development role. After two years, he completed the handing over but remained on Microsoft’s board, serving as its chair. Notably, after he oversaw the release of Windows 8.1, Gates stepped down as the chair of Microsoft on February 5, 2014. He was succeeded by John W. Thompson but remained a member of the board till 2021. Investment Portfolio The Billionaire has a multi-billion dollar investment portfolio that consists of shares across numerous sectors. As an entrepreneur, Bill Gates made huge financial commitments to various projects, which in turn impacted his net worth. It is worth mentioning that Gates acquired a significant portion of his portfolio through Cascade Investment LLC. He founded the investment firm in 1995 as part of his efforts to diversify his wealth. Cascade Investment was incorporated in the United States with its headquarters in Kirkland Washington. Outside Cascade Investment, Gates founded Corbis, formerly known as Interactive Home Systems in 1989. Later, he sold the company to a Chinese new media company, Visual China Group. He also owns a 16% stake in AutoNation, an automotive retailer. He acquired the stake through Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust and Cascade Investment LLC. Between 2014 to 2017, Gates contributed about $396 million to a business owned by Patrick O. Brown. The company; “Impossible Foods” produces plant-based substitutes for meat products. Meanwhile, around 2018, reports indicated that Gates is a large financial contributor to EarthNow. The firm is a tech-startup that intends to provide real-time video of the internet through the aid of satellites. With Gates’ financial commitment, EartNow simplifies access to its videos by designing enabling infrastructure. This infrastructure makes it easy for users to access its coverage through their tablets and smartphones. More so, Gates through his investment company, Cascade Investment participated in a $350 million funding round for Ginkgo Bioworks. The company is a biotech startup that specializes in using genetic engineering to produce bacteria for other scientific companies. Also, the Billionaire in 2021, with financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Soros Economic Development Fund invested about $41.1 million in Mologic. Then, the investment was targeted at improving the standard of medical technology globally. Before the investment, Mologic had developed 10-minute COVID-19 lateral flow tests. Bill Gates is also known as one of the largest individual shareholders in the Canadian National Railway (CN). The company is a Canadian Class-1 freight railway. More so, Gates is a renowned private owner of farmland in the United States. So far, he has acquired about 242,000 acres across 19 states in the country through his investment firm. With this, he remains the 49th largest private owner of lands in the United States. Gates also contributed to the establishment of Carbon Engineering, a profit-oriented venture founded by David Keith. His investment efforts also extend to Eclipse Aviation. Gates is one of the early major stakeholders in the now-defunct producer of jets. Likewise, the Billionaire alongside other investors participated in a $35 million funding round for ResearchGate. The company is a social networking site for researchers. He also owns a significant stake in Ecolab; a global provider of water, hygiene, and energy innovations to various markets. He owns up to 11.6% stake in the firm. Around 2012, a shareholder agreement provided him a chance to own about 25% of the company, but Gates failed to leverage the opportunity. In a bid to tackle climate change, Gates founded TerraPower. He has also been one of the top investors in a prominent Artificial Intelligence company, OpenAI. Between 2019 to 2023, his firm, Microsoft invested more than $11 billion in the company. With the investment, the tech giant has positioned itself as one of the global software firms to invest in Artificial Intelligence projects. .@Microsoft is investing $1 billion in and partnering with OpenAI to support us building beneficial AGI: https://t.co/ueiPKAiXfa pic.twitter.com/8Ebu9knHAk — OpenAI (@OpenAI) July 22, 2019 Philanthropy Without any doubt, Bill Gates’ philanthropic endeavors, in the past few decades, have earned him great public prestige. The Billionaire alongside his wife founded the “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation” in 2000. The major vision of this foundation revolves around helping people to live healthy and productive lives. Since its establishment, Bill Gates has donated billions from his net worth to the foundation. His aim is to ensure that people get the opportunity to lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. Today, the foundation is the largest private philanthropic donor in the world, with over $70 billion in endowment funds. Its philanthropic activities are spread across 143 countries. According to Gates, his foundation focuses on “reducing both childhood death and malnutrition and ending polio.” Since 2000, it has spent billions of dollars to ensure the vaccination of children against polio, reduce the menace of ravaging malaria outbreak in Africa, improve vaccines for cholera, and many other health-oriented projects. Apart from its support for health initiatives, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has also funded numerous education projects. In 2022, it allocated $1.1 billion to improve math scores by developing new curricula and virtual tools. Every year, the foundation sponsors at least 300 students from low-income households through its education sponsorship program. The program is geared towards eliminating the financial barrier that deters intelligent students from excelling in their studies. Bill Gates plans to donate virtually all of his net worth to the foundation. Around 2022, he and his wife donated $20 billion to the initiative. Then, he reiterated his commitment to increasing the spending power of the philanthropic project so that he can eventually move out of the list of the world’s wealthiest individuals. “I have an obligation to return my resources to society in ways that have the greatest impact for reducing suffering and improving lives. And I hope others in positions of great wealth and privilege will step up in this moment too.” I have an obligation to return my resources to society in ways that have the greatest impact for reducing suffering and improving lives. And I hope others in positions of great wealth and privilege will step up in this moment too. — Bill Gates (@BillGates) July 13, 2022 Beyond Bill and Melinda Gates, other well-known Billionaires have also donated to the foundation. One of them is Warren Buffett, the CEO and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Between 2006 to 2022, the Billionaire gave over $37 billion to the foundation. As the largest private philanthropic donor across the globe, the foundation allocated $8.3 billion to fund its 2023 philanthropic projects. More so, Buffett, alongside Bill and his ex-wife, Melinda are also the co-founders of “Giving Pledge.” The initiative is geared towards encouraging their fellow Billionaires to donate some of their fortunes to charity. Publications Apart from being a popular tech entrepreneur and philanthropist, Bill Gates is also a renowned author. His first publication came alive in November 1995. The book titled “The Road Ahead” was co-authored alongside Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold and renowned journalist, Peter Rinearson. It focuses on the impact of the personal computing revolution. In the book, Gates illustrated how the future has been altered by the emergence of a global information superhighway. Thereafter, the co-founder of Microsoft published another book in 1999. This time around, Gates didn’t feature another writer on the piece that was titled “Business @ the Speed of Thought.” In this book, he highlighted how entrepreneurs can integrate technology into their respective businesses. Gates also identified how virtual infrastructure and information networks can help businesses to stay ahead of their competitors. Meanwhile, he took a break from book publishing until he left Microsoft. In February 2021, after the COVID-19, he made a comeback with the release of “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster.” In the book, the Billionaire reflected on what he learned over the years while studying climate change. Gates’ opinions in the book reflected the drive behind his investments in innovations that address climate problems. As a result of his experience during the pandemic, in April 2022, he also published “How to Prevent the Next Pandemic.” With the book, the Billionaire discussed the impact of the pandemic and how to prevent a potential outbreak in the future. He also proposed a “Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization” (GERM) team with annual funding of $1 billion. According to Gates, the team will work with the World Health Organization (WHO). Recognition It is worth establishing that Gates’ accomplishments as a tech leader, author, and philanthropist have not gone unnoticed. Over the past few decades, he received numerous accolades for his efforts towards promoting technology development. For instance, around 1994, he was named the CEO of the Year by Chief Executive Officers magazine. Likewise, Gates also ranked first in the “Top 50 Cyber Elite” in 1998. The same year, the American Library Association recognized him as its Honorary Member. Similarly, his impressive reputation in the tech sector also earned an appearance in the London Sunday Times power list in 1999. During the year, Time magazine featured him in its list of 100 most influential people of the 20th century. He also made the list in 2004, 2005, and 2006 respectively. In 2005, Bill Gates and his ex-wife were named the “2005 Persons of the Year.” The recognition emanated owing to their humanitarian efforts through the Foundation. The following year, Gates was awarded the “Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Henry” by the then-President of Portugal Jorge Sampaio. Later that year, he was also awarded the Placard of the Order of the Aztec Eagle, He was made an honorary trustee of Peking University in 2007. Also, Gates received the 2010 Bower Award for Business Leadership from The Franklin Institute. This award was given based on his achievements at Microsoft and his philanthropic work. Thereafter, in 2012, Forbes ranked Gates as the fourth most powerful person in the world. He and his ex-wife Melinda also received the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award for their social work in the country. His philanthropic efforts also earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016 from the Obama administration. The following year, François Hollande honored Gates with France’s highest national order. He was also awarded the Professor Hawking Fellowship of the Cambridge Union at the University of Cambridge in 2019. Remarkably, his philanthropic projects in Japan also earned him an award as the “Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.” Also, the Pakistan authorities also bestowed the second-highest civilian award in the country, “Hilal-e-Pakistan” to Gates. Controversy Despite his tremendous contributions to tech and humanity, Bill Gates has his critics, particularly during his time with Microsoft. Then, he was criticized for his treatment of other workers. An executive of the firm decried how difficult it was to reach Gates by phone calls. Also, other executives labeled him as being “verbally combative.” In a disclosure, another executive recalled how Gates usually yelled at programmers and software developers working with Microsoft whenever a rival is doing better than the company. Above all, he was viewed by many employees of Microsoft as a bully. Meanwhile, when Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen was receiving treatment for Cancer, Gates was accused of reducing the shares of his ailing partner in the company. Allen in his autobiography accused Gates of attempting to “rip him off.” Likewise, in 2019, New York Times reported Gates’ relationship with an American sex offender and financier; Jeffrey Epstein dates back. The report indicated that their relationship continued even after Epstein was convicted of his sex-related charges. However, Gates denied these allegations stating that his lifestyle is different. Is Bill Gates Pro Crypto? Bill Gates has, over the past few years, positioned himself as a crypto skeptic. His belief is that “anonymity” as one of the basic attributes of crypto makes it an efficient tool for money laundering and terrorist financing. Likewise, he feels crypto mining constitutes a big threat to the planet, citing its massive use of electricity. In a 2018 “ask me anything session,” the Billionaire addressed his fears about crypto, stressing that the innovation is killing people in a “fairly direct way.” He said; “The main feature of crypto-currencies is their anonymity. I don’t think this is a good thing. The government’s ability to find money laundering and tax evasion and terrorist funding is a good thing. Right now, crypto-currencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way. I think the speculative wave around ICOs [initial coin offerings] and crypto-currencies are super risky for those who go long.” Being an influential personality, Gates’ harsh comments usually impact the realities in the volatile crypto market. However, in spite of his skepticism about Bitcoin and crypto, the Microsoft co-founder does not always shy away from discussing the good sides of Bitcoin and crypto at large. This simply means Gates, unlike other critics, does not hammer on the shortcomings of the innovation alone. Around 2014, he even acknowledged that Bitcoin is exciting and better than currency because of its ability to avail a low-cost transaction network. “Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place, and of course for large transactions currency can get pretty inconvenient.” Nonetheless, he does not see it as a great investment tool and believes the asset may not appeal to the market due to its relative anonymity. It is not in doubt that Gates’ major concern about crypto innovation revolves around this “complication” which makes it vulnerable to every form of money laundering. This gives us a clue about why his Foundation has chosen not to get exposed to Bitcoin despite venturing into digital currency. However, Microsoft has integrated crypto’s underlying tech, blockchain for verifying digital identity on its network. Today, the firm is well-known in the blockchain market and has continued to channel its activities towards expanding the use cases of the tech. Interestingly, Gates has never denied his Foundation’s endeavor with digital currency. In fact, he even admitted that the engagement would help to provide banking services to the poor. “For our Foundation work, we are doing digital currency to help the poor get banking services. We don’t use bitcoin specifically for two reasons. One is that the poor shouldn’t have a currency whose value goes up and down a lot compared to their local currency. Second is that if a mistake is made in who you pay then you need to be able to reverse it so anonymity wouldn’t work,” the Billionaire said. Nevertheless, Gates has continued to warn investors about their exposure to Bitcoin and other assets. In an online interview with Bloomberg around February 2021, he emphasized that only people that are as rich as Elon Musk should be buying Bitcoin. “Elon [Musk] has tons of money and he’s very sophisticated, so I don’t worry that his Bitcoin will sort of randomly go up or down. I do think people get bought into these manias who may not have as much money to spare. My general thought would be that if you have less money than Elon, you should probably watch out.” Around 2022, Gates was featured in one of the TechCrunch Sessions where he described crypto assets as “100 percent based on some sort of Greater Fool Theory.” Recall that the theory postulates that realities in the market make investors buy overvalued assets with the sole promise of amassing gains later. These investors can only make gains on the assets if they can find people who can bid them higher. Gates’ harsh comment unfolded amid the Terra-Luna implosion which triggered a massive fall in prices of crypto assets, including Bitcoin. The effect of the crisis was so disastrous to the extent that it plunged the net worths of wealthy Bitcoin investors like Michael Saylor, Changpeng Zhao, Elon Musk, and many more. Gates referenced the disaster to argue that nothing drives the value of Bitcoin and other crypto assets except speculations. “The value of companies is based on how they make great products. The value of crypto is just what some other person decides someone else will pay for it, so not adding to society like other investments,” he explained. The Microsoft co-founder affirmed that he’s only interested in investments that are related to traditional asset classes. He added that “I’m used to asset classes, like a farm where they have output, or like a company where they make products.” Bill Gates tells us what he really thinks of Bored Apes at #TCClimate: pic.twitter.com/vBc8BaaTup — TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) June 14, 2022 Crypto and NFT Holdings of Bill Gates It is not surprising that Bill Gates does not have personal exposure to cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Although he was once given Bitcoin as a birthday gift, the Billionaire sold it shortly after. His stance is that crypto lacks substantial value, stressing that “I like investing in things that have valuable output.” In one of his interviews in 2022, he emphasized again that he’s not interested in crypto. He said; “I’m not involved in that. I’m not long or short any of those things.” According to Gates, he only picks interest in industries that are very stable, reliable, and predictable. "I don't own #Bitcoin. I'm not short Bitcoin," says @BillGates. "I do think moving money into a more digital form and getting transaction costs down, that's something the Gates Foundation does in developing countries." pic.twitter.com/DDe5X196ax — Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) February 18, 2021 In the interview, the Billionaire co-founder mocked Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs. He was furious about the huge amount of money people pay to buy the tokens; saying “Obviously, expensive digital images of monkeys are going to improve the world immensely.” Crypto and NFT Projects Featuring Bill Gates In spite of his harsh stance against NFTs, Gates has been featured in numerous collections on OpenSea. One of the collections, “NFT Chairs” is enveloped with digital designs of over five hundred influential individuals in history. In this collection, Gates was featured, with his drawn image in a black suit. Similarly, he was also featured in the NYC NFT protest collection. The digital collectible, named “Listen to Bill Gates” is designed on a purple background with the inscription on it. Readers can also find more collections featuring the Billionaire co-founder on OpenSea. Without any doubt, Bill Gates commands tremendous attention in today’s contemporary world. This explains why his activities and comments on issues have continued to earn the interest of popular projects like Wall Street Memes. Wall Street Memes has, over the past few years, featured Gates and his firm, Microsoft in some of its comical memes. The meme culture is an evolving trend on the Internet, serving as a driving force in the crypto world. Just like Doge, the team behind Wall Street Memes is also seeking to leverage the capacity of memes in building a strong social media army. Occasioned by the uniqueness and attractiveness of its internet memes, the project’s vision has started coming to fruition. Apart from enjoying the backing of over one million followers on all its social media handles, its memes generate not less than forty million impressions every month. Likewise, these memes have been noticed by the likes of Jim Cramer, Elon Musk, and other top guys in the industry. Musk’s recent reactions to the memes triggered greater confidence in the future of the project. Definitely, Wall Street Memes has become a movement to beat despite the saturated nature of the meme market. 🤣 — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 22, 2023 Meanwhile, the ongoing presale of its $WSM has continued to make headlines, amassing over $20 million in investments as of August 2023. There is no doubt that investors are bullish about the meme coin and believe the antecedents of its team are enough indication that the project could be destined for long-term success. Apart from Michael Wrubel, other notable crypto influencers like Joe Parys, Jacob Crypto Bury, CryptoWendyO, Satoshi Stacker, Crypto Dose, and many more have also been at the heart of the hype surrounding $WSM. Joe Parys finds great potential in the meme coin and recommended it to his YouTube subscribers. With the increasing wave of support from these influencers, it is not surprising that the ongoing token sale is turning heads, becoming one of the fastest-rising crypto presales ever. According to Jacob Crypto Bury, $WSM may be the next cryptocurrency to attain market success. It will begin to attract multiple CEX listings after the completion of its presale in September. You can read more about the tokenomics of the meme coin by visiting wallstmemes.com. Bill Gates’ Net Worth – Our Verdict Bill Gates’ life has been characterized by great accomplishments. He lives in affluence, courtesy of the global excitement for his software brand, Microsoft. The landmark success of this firm positioned him as the wealthiest person across the globe between 1997 to 2008. Likewise, Bill Gates became the world’s youngest billionaire in 1987, with about $1.25 billion net worth. Initially, Gates owned 45% of Microsoft shares but sold a large percentage off to fund Cascade Investment LLC. This firm serves as a vehicle through which he invests in scores of companies. By doing so, the Billionaire diversified his wealth into other investments, including zero-carbon energy. Apart from his investment prowess, Gate is also well-known for his generosity and philanthropic activities. Over the last few decades, he donated a huge portion of his wealth to help the less privileged. This commitment made him donate not less than $37 billion worth of Microsoft shares to charity projects. Today, he owns at least 1.3% of the company’s shares. New Crypto Mining Platform - Bitcoin Minetrix Rating Audited By Coinsult Decentralized, Secure Cloud Mining Earn Free Bitcoin Daily Native Token On Presale Now - BTCMTX Staking Rewards - Over 10,000% APY Learn More FAQs How did Bill Gates earn his first fortune? Bill Gates made his first fortune through the landmark success of Microsoft. What's the 2023 net worth of Bill Gates? According to Forbes, the net worth of Bill Gates is estimated to be around $116.6 billion. Is Bill Gates the richest man in the world? Between 1997 to 2008, Bill Gates was the richest person in the world. However, he has since fallen to sixth position as of 2023.