It seems like everyone on the planet knows about Microsoft, Bill Gates and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. However, that spirit of philanthropy started with an elder Bill Gates – William Gates Sr.
Bill Gates’ father has long been working for philanthropic causes from being the Co-Chair of the World Justice Project to sitting on the board of Planned Parenthood. He is also the author of a book entitled “Showing Up for Life: Thoughts on the Gifts of a Lifetime.”
Gates, a graduate of the University of Washington, worked as a lawyer until 1998 at the law firm he co-founded. Shidler & King later became known as Preston Gates & Ellis LLP. It finally merged into what is now called K&L Gates, though Mr. Gates is no longer with the firm.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Gates has volunteered with organizations such as the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and King County United Way. He even formed a non-profit called Technology Alliance to further technology jobs in the northwest. In efforts to shape and assist education, he worked with the Public School Levy Campaign.
He is currently on the Board of Regents for the University of Washington and is a co-chair for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bill Gates Sr. guides the vision and strategic direction of the foundation and serves as an advocate for the foundation’s key issues. He first answered his son’s request for help in using his resources to improve reproductive and child health in the developing world by directing the William H. Gates Foundation, which was established in 1994. It merged with the Gates Learning Foundation to create the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000.
Mr. Gates Sr. has won numerous awards and recognition for serving in law-related positions. However, he was also the recipient of Chi Psi Fraternity’s Albert S. Bard Award for his contributions to the intellectual and cultural life of the community in 2010.