William H. Gates II, a lawyer and philanthropist known as the father of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has died at 94.
Gates died peacefully at his beach house in Washington state on Monday from Alzheimer’s disease, the family announced Tuesday.
An obese family credited the father with a “deep commitment to social and economic equity”, noting that he was responsible for it Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation The first attempts to improve global health as well as their advocacy for progressive taxation, especially the unsuccessful attempts to pass a state income tax on the wealthy in Washington.
“My father’s wisdom, generosity, sympathy and humility had a great influence on people all over the world,” Bill G. wrote in a tribute.
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 surrendered in 1945, en route to Japan.
He said that before returning to the United States, he served one year in war-torn Tokyo and resumed his education. After earning his law degree in 1950, he began working in private practice and as a part-time Bremerton City Attorney.
He formed the Seattle law firm along with two other associates that eventually became Preston Gates and Ellis, now known as K&L Gates, one of the largest law firms in the world. The firm was the first company to work with the technology industry in the region.
Gates Sr. met his first wife, Mary Maxwell, at the University of Washington. They had two daughters and a son, Gates Jr., and were married until his death in 1994. Two years later she married Mimi Gardner, then director of the Seattle Art Museum, with whom she spent the last quarter-century of her life.
“When I was a kid, he wasn’t determined or overbearing, and yet he never coasted me with things I was good at, and he always pushed me to try things that I could I did not hate or I could not think (swimming) and football, for example), ”Gates Jr. wrote in tribute. “And he did a wonderful job ethically. He was one of Seattle’s most hardworking and most respected lawyers, as well as a prominent civic leader in our region. “
That civic work included serving as a representative of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Planned Parenthood and United Way, and the University of Washington, where he led the fundraising drive. He also helped build diversity scholarships and promote legal services for the poor, as president of state and local bar associations and also under the leadership of the American Bar Association.
A Washington government official said, “Bill Sr. was a man who cared about the plight of many people, and had the resources and the never-ending civil commitment to do something.” “They opted to use their funds and advocate for improving equity in our communities.”
Gates Sr. was a man by reputation and was 6-foot-7 (2 meters) tall, and his advice was often sought. the former Starbucks Chairman Howard Shultes has said that as he struggled to raise money to buy a six-story coffee chain in 1987, Gates Sr. stepped in to protect him from a rival buyer, not only by investing, but personally. As a rival to meet Shultz, he demands to loom at the opponent’s table: “You’re going to stand down and this kid is going to make his dream come true.” do you understand me?”
Gates retired from law in 1998 and played a leading role with the Gates Foundation, helping to start his work in global health.
The family said that due to restrictions related to COVID-19 Pandemic, a memorial service will be held later.
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