Bill Gates talks about his family life, philanthropy and more

By on June 13, 2011, 9:00 AM

Bill Gates is not known for giving out many interviews, but the founder and former CEO of Microsoft recently sat down with Caroline Graham from U.K.'s Daily Mail to promote a pledging conference for donors and partners of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization -- which Gates co-founded in 2000. The result is an interesting and rare look into the psyche of one of the most influential people in the world, discussing his plans to change the world through philanthropy as well as other topics including his role at Microsoft now and his family life.

The interview starts off with Gates joking about how his three kids like to tease him by singing the song Billionaire by Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars, and how they are not going to inherit his $50+ billions -- don't worry, these things are not related, he's not that evil. In fact, Gates comes out as more human and less intense than perhaps he has in the past, saying that such amount of money wouldn't be good for them and that they have to find their own way.

His three children, currently aged 15, 12 and nine, will reportedly inherit $10 million each (although he wouldn't disclose an amount in the interview), a fraction of his current net worth: "They will be given an unbelievable education and that will all be paid for. And certainly anything related to health issues we will take care of. But in terms of their income, they will have to pick a job they like and go to work. They are normal kids now. They do chores, they get pocket money."

They also don't get to have iPads, iPhones or iPods and instead get their Windows equivalent. "They have a Zune music player, which is a great Windows portable player," he says. On the bright side, he recently drove the whole family to a U2 concert in their minivan, and though they didn't get invited backstage Bono was staying at their place anyway.

When asked if he would ever consider returning to the helm at Microsoft, Bill just said that he remains part-time involved but his full-time work for the rest of his life is now in the foundation he runs with his wife. He has already given away $28 billion to charity and says he prefers dedicating his efforts to vaccinating the world’s disadvantaged, rather than, say, being the guy who cures cancer, as the world is putting massive amounts of money into that already.

He shares a lot more in the interview, including his view on his "legacy". I encourage you to read the entire thing at the Daily Mail if you have a few minutes. Oh, and one last tidbit in case you are into Silicon Valley gossip, apparently during the interview Gates refers to Facebook CEO's longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan as his "Fiancee." Facebook has since come out denying an engagement between the two -- I hope he didn't put Zuckerberg in a tight spot!




User Comments: 8

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Guest said:

Much respect for Bill Gates.

BTW, the first thing I thought when I heard the name "Priscilla Chan" was the Hong Kong singer...whew.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The most admirable thing really is that he's just quietly giving away his money without seeking publicity or praise for himself.

Guest said:

Although I don't think cynically of his charitable work or anything, which I'm fairly sure he does out of genuine altruism, I'm not particularly impressed either. It's easy to give away money and time when you're a semi-retired billionaire. I have much more respect for people already working 40+ hour weeks in low to medium income occupations who then give up money or time to volunteer as well. People like that go unnoticed, whilst self-serving and obnoxious celebrities who co-opt charity for publicity (e.g. Bono) are praised and put on the cover of Time Magazine.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Guest said:

Although I don't think cynically of his charitable work or anything, which I'm fairly sure he does out of genuine altruism, I'm not particularly impressed either. It's easy to give away money and time when you're a semi-retired billionaire. I have much more respect for people already working 40+ hour weeks in low to medium income occupations who then give up money or time to volunteer as well. People like that go unnoticed, whilst self-serving and obnoxious celebrities who co-opt charity for publicity (e.g. Bono) are praised and put on the cover of Time Magazine.

Indeed. I've volunteered at homeless shelters with people who were nearly homeless themselves. Despite living paycheck to paycheck in a run down apartment, they still find the time to donate their services to helping those who are less fortunate than them. These people get up, go to work, go volunteer, then go home and go to bed...and nobody knows about them...they are a nobody in society...makes me sad.

Don't get me wrong, i'm always glad to hear about celebs and rich people donating and doing charities, and i'm glad Bill has been doing that instead of being stingy, but the little people need the notice and respect as well.

from the article:

But in terms of their income, they will have to pick a job they like and go to work. They are normal kids now. They do chores, they get pocket money.

Good on ya, Bill. Glad to hear he's being a parent and making his kids go to school and work for their money. Teaching them good values. You've got my respect, good sir.

Guest said:

I praise them all, and I thank them for their kindness to others.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

from the article:

But in terms of their income, they will have to pick a job they like and go to work. They are normal kids now. They do chores, they get pocket money.

Hmm...Normal? I wish i got to 'pick' the job i liked. (Angelina Jolie's personal underwear manager springs to mind)

Guest said:

Is the love fest for Gates over?

The fact that he keeps making billions, should indicate how overpriced Microsoft products really are.

He should give money to every person that ever "registered" a product with Microsoft.

Guest said:

Dr. M.M. Sreemivasan

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