Software developer and co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates has made a vow to donate most of his wealth to his foundation in the coming future.
At different times in the last few decades, the businessman and tech royalty held the title of the richest person in the world. First from 1995 to 2010 before he was moved to the second by Mexican businessman, Carlos Slim Helu. He became the richest person again from 2013 to 2017 before Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, took that spot. Since then, Gates and Bezos have vied for another ultra-expensive title: World’s Costliest Divorce.
In a recent Twitter thread Bill Gates posted, he prefaced by saying, “Several huge global setbacks over the past few years have left many people discouraged and wondering whether the world is destined to get worse.”
He mentioned that the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and climate change as recent setbacks that have been encountered globally. He further added that the Gates Foundation, which he and his ex-wife, Melinda started in 2000, will be stepping up to the plate because “the great crises of our time require all of us to do more”.
With the support and guidance of the board of the foundation, the foundation plans to increase its spending from nearly $6 billion per year today to $9 billion per year by 2026. To help make this spending increase possible, Bill Gates transferred $20 billion of his own fortune to the foundation’s endowment this month.
Although the foundation bears the Gates name, basically half its resources have come from Warren Buffett. Most of Bill Gates’ early donations were gifts of Microsoft stock, rather than his fortune.
He ended the Twitter thread by saying, “As I look to the future, I plan to give virtually all of my wealth to the foundation. I will move down and eventually off of the list of the world’s richest people.”
Bill Gates’ net worth history
In 1986, when Microsoft went public, Bill Gates made $350 million.
In 1987, he officially became a billionaire with his net worth rising to $1.25 billion. He became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire thanks to the growing interest in the software industry.
Three years later, his net worth doubled to $2.5 billion.
In 2011 and 2012 respectively, it fell to $56 billion then rose to $61 billion.
$67 billion brought him back to the title of the richest in the world in 2013.
In 2018, Jeff Bezos took the title of the richest, leaving Bill Gates at $90 billion.
In 2021, Bill and his ex-wife Melinda Gates announced that they were breaking up after 27 years of marriage. Without a prenuptial agreement, Melinda was entitled to $76 billion, making it the largest divorce settlement ever recorded, surpassing Jeff Bezos’.
As of 2022, Forbes estimates that he is the fourth $101,7 billion following his $20 billion donations to charity. To date, Gates has donated nearly $57 billion to the Gates Foundation.