Bill Gates Sr, an American attorney, philanthropist and father of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, died on Monday at his Seattle residence.
The cause was Alzheimer’s disease, his family confirmed. According to the New York Times, Gates Sr played a crucial role in establishing the world’s largest philanthropy, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Additionally, he was instrumental in shaping the Microsoft culture.
“My fathers death is a tremendous loss for our family, and the many people who’s lives he touched.” Bill Gates wrote on his LinkedIn page.
Born in 1925, Gates Sr. grew up in Bremerton, Washington, where his parents owned a furniture store. He joined the Army after his freshman year at the University of Washington and was en route to Japan when it surrendered in 1945.
He served a year in war-hit Tokyo before returning to the United States and resuming his education. After earning his law degree in 1950, he began working in private practice and as a part-time Bremerton city attorney.
Also emerging as an author, he formed a Seattle law firm with two other partners that eventually became Preston Gates and Ellis — now known as K & L Gates, one of the world’s largest law firms. The firm was one of the first to work with the region’s technology industry.
Gates retired from law in 1998 and took on prominent roles with the Gates Foundation, helping launch its work in global health.
“We send our condolences to the Gates family and gratitude for Bill Sr.’s enduring legacy.” said Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft.
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