20+ Little-Known Facts About Bill Gates – Life Lessons from Billionaire Bill Gates

Most people know about Bill Gates only that he founded Microsoft, invented Windows operating system and made billions of dollars from it. And also the fact that he and his wife are spending the same billions on charity. But in the biography of one of the richest people on the planet there are other interesting facts about which almost no one knows. For example, in his youth, instead of a normal dinner, he licked the powder of an instant drink from his hand, because he did not want to waste precious time mixing it with water.


Bill Gates turns 65 on October 28. In honor of his birthday, we at Bright Side read dozens of interviews with a computer genius and snatched 20+ little-known facts about him.

  • William Henry Gates III (real name Bill Gates) was born on October 28, 1955. His father was a lawyer, his mother was on the board of directors of a financial holding company, and his grandfather was vice president of the National Bank. He has 2 sisters – the older Christie and the younger Libby.
  • Gates learned programming at age 13. At 18, he entered Harvard, but dropped out a year later to start Microsoft with childhood friend Paul Allen. The company signed its first major contract when Bill was 21. At 31, Bill became the youngest billionaire in the world. And after another 8 years he received the title of the richest man and remained so from 1995 to 2007.
  • In 2020, Forbes magazine estimated the fortune of Bill Gates at $ 98 billion. He is ranked 2nd in the ranking of the richest people in the world, behind Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
  • On January 1, 1994, Gates married Melinda French, who was a marketing manager at Microsoft. The wedding ceremony took place on a golf course on the Hawaiian island of Lanai. The couple have 3 children: daughters Jennifer and Phoebe Adele and son Rory.
  • They all live in  a hillside mansion overlooking Lake Washington in the Medina.
  • Bill Gates owns a lot of real estate. So, he owns a house on the lake with an area of ​​6 130 sq. m in Medina, Washington. The price of the house is about $ 80 million. In addition, Gates has his own tropical island in Belize, which is estimated at about $ 25 million.
  • Also, the billionaire is the owner of an extensive collection of works of art, including works by Leonardo da Vinci. His collection is valued at $ 130 million. According to Wealth-X, Gates has nearly $ 14 billion in cash that has been raised in salaries, bonuses, investment dividends, and so on.
  • Bill Gates is known not only as the founder of Microsoft, but also as a generous philanthropist who donates billions of dollars to charities. For his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation alone, he and his wife donated about $ 38 billion. The main goals of the foundation are to improve health care and reduce extreme poverty around the world.

And now – to the little-known facts

  • In his youth, Bill was so passionate about his work (creating software) that he often skip meals. The future billionaire didn’t want to spend even a couple of minutes mixing an instant orange-flavored drink with water. Instead, he sprinkled powder on his hand and licked it off. “You have to put it in a cup of water, stir it, then drink it. But you can skip the stage with water, because your body already has water. So just lick the powder off your hand, ” said the Microsoft co-founder.
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  • Then, in his youth, Bill Gates refused to listen to music and watch TV for 5 years. “It sounds crazy, but I did so, as I understand, it’s just to distract me from thinking about the software,” – said he once.
  • In 1979, when Gates first started making big money at his company, he first paid off his $ 150,000 mortgage. Then he bought a luxury Porsche 911 car. was driving at high speed. Fortunately, I didn’t kill myself then, ”Gates said.
  • Gates admits that in the early period of his management of Microsoft, he reacted rather harshly to any mistakes of his employees. “I was definitely not nice when I was running Microsoft,” Gates said in an interview. And he added that no one forced employees to stay at Microsoft if they suddenly felt they could not succeed in such a stressful work environment.
  • Interestingly, Gates often sent his employees critical and sarcastic emails. Microsoft employees called such letters from their boss “fire mail.”
  • Bill Gates also kept track of which employees worked the longest. “I knew the license plates of all my employees. I looked at the parking lot and saw when people came and when they left, ”- said Gates in an interview.
  • Recall that Bill Gates stepped down as CEO of his company in 2000, fully focusing on charity. And in March 2020, he left the board of directors of Microsoft.
  • Gates is known as a voracious reader. “On average, I try to read one book a week. And I always take a whole bag of books with me on vacation, ” he said in an interview with Time.
  • In 2020, during a period of worldwide social distancing, Gates likes to while away the time playing online bridge with his longtime billionaire friend Warren Buffett.
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  • Bill Gates and his wife Melinda in leisure time love to watch movies, go to the cinema, with kayaking and playing Pickleball ( pickleball ). Besides tennis and pickleball, the Gates family enjoys playing a board game called The Settlers of Catan.
  • Bill and Melinda did not buy cell phones for their children until they were 14 years old. “Although they complained that other children have been walking around with phones for a long time,” Gates said .
  • Bill Gates said he would not leave his entire legacy to the children. “I definitely think that leaving children with huge amounts of money is wrong, it will not do them any good. Some people disagree with this, but Melinda and I think it’s right. “
  • Gates once admitted that he likes to wash dirty dishes.
  • The billionaire dresses quite simply and can dine at McDonald’s without hesitation. “I  don’t like spending a lot of money on clothes or jewelry,” he says. But what Gates considers a necessary luxury is the ability to fly in a private jet.
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  • Bill Gates can afford to wear the most expensive watch in the world. But he  remains a fan of Casio watches. He previously wore a $ 10 Casio Illuminator Sports Digital watch, and in 2019, Gates was spotted wearing a $ 42 Casio Quartz Diver.
  • Bill Gates does not know foreign languages. “I feel stupid about this. Although in high school I studied Latin and Greek and even got A’s. I think this knowledge helps my vocabulary. But I would like to know French, Arabic or Chinese. I still hope that someday I will have time to learn at least one of them. And, most likely, French, because it is the simplest, ”the billionaire said.
  • Bill Gates was asked on Reddit, “If you found $ 40,000 on the sidewalk, would you raise it?” The billionaire replied : “Since our foundation spends $ 1,000 to save each life, I would take the money. After all, that would be enough to save 40 lives, which is very important. “
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  • Gates has paid over $ 6 billion in taxes. “I’ve paid more taxes than anyone else and I’m very happy about it.”
  • One of Gates’ favorite films is the thriller “Spy Games” (2001) starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt. “I’ve watched it 12 times. It’s such a smart movie,” said Bill Gates.
  • Gates has 2 dogs – Oreo and Neilla. “I spend less time with dogs  than with children, but I really like them. Especially when they don’t bark at night and don’t eat what they shouldn’t eat. “
  • To the question “What life lesson have you learned the hard way?” Gates replied , “Don’t stay up too late. Even if the book is really interesting. You will regret it in the morning. I am still working on this problem. “

How do you feel about Bill Gates and his activities?

Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / AFP / East News

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