Bill Gates has built a reputation as a serious thinker about the world’s problems and has steered the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to tackle knotty issues like improving health care and the use of vaccines in developing countries. In December 2015, at the United Nations climate talks in Paris, Gates raised his profile on the global stage when he announced the formation of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a group of more than 20 billionaires who have agreed to invest in innovative clean energy. “Our primary goal with the coalition is as much to accelerate progress on clean energy as it is to make a profit,” Gates said at the time.

Gates recruited the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Chinese e-commerce billionaire Jack Ma, and Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, to join the coalition. Gates still owns just under 3% of Microsoft, which accounts for less than 20% of his fortune. Some of his other investments include stakes in Canadian National Railway, Deere & Co., waste collection outfit Republic Services and hygiene and water technology firm Ecolab. In October 2015, Gates reportedly invested in Impossible Foods, a startup that is creating plant-based foods that taste like meat but use fewer resources to produce.


$77.4 Billion

Cofounder, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Age: 60

Source Of Wealth: Microsoft, Self Made

Self-Made Score: 8

Residence: Medina, WA

Citizenship: United States

Marital Status: Married

Children: 3

Education: Drop Out, Harvard University