Bill Gates Sr.

  (Redirected from William H. Gates, Sr)

William Henry Gates II[2] (born November 30, 1925), better known as Bill Gates Sr., is an American retired attorney and philanthropist, and author of the book Showing Up for Life: Thoughts on the Gifts of a Lifetime. He is the father of Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft.

Bill Gates Sr.
Gates Sr. visits the Naz Foundation's care centre for HIV-positive children, during his visit to India in September 2004
William Henry Gates II

(1925-11-30) November 30, 1925 (age 94)
Alma materUniversity of Washington (BA, JD)
Height6 ft 6 in (198 cm) [1]
Children3; including Bill

One of a line of businessmen named William H. Gates, and sometimes called William Gates Jr. during his career, he is now generally known as William Henry Gates Sr. due to the greater prominence of his son Bill Gates (whose full name is William Henry Gates III). He has adopted the suffix "Sr." to distinguish himself from his more famous son.


Gates served under the U.S. Army for three years during World War II.[3] After the war, Gates attended the University of Washington under the G.I. Bill,[1] earning a B.A. in 1949 and a J.D. degree in 1950. While at Washington he joined the Chi Psi fraternity. He co-founded Shidler & King in 1964, which later became Preston Gates & Ellis LLP (PGE). He practiced with the firm until 1998, when it was merged into the firm now known as K&L Gates (with which Bill Gates Sr. is not affiliated).

Gates has served as president of both the Seattle/King County Bar Association and the Washington State Bar Association. He has also served on the boards of numerous Northwest organizations, including the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce,[4] King County United Way and Planned Parenthood.[1][5][6] In 1995, he founded the Technology Alliance whose mission is to expand technology-based employment in Washington.[4]

In 1998, Gates retired from PGE. He served for fifteen years on the Board of Regents for the University of Washington,[7] and is a co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,[1] which his son Bill and his daughter-in-law Melinda founded. He has served as a director for Costco Wholesale, a bulk retail corporation, since 2003. He is also a founding co-chair of the Pacific Health Summit.[8]

Gates is co-author, with Chuck Collins, of the book Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes, a defense of the policies promoted by the estate tax.[9][10]

William H. Gates Sr. serves as an Honorary Chair for the World Justice Project.[4] The project works to lead a global, multidisciplinary effort to strengthen the Rule of Law for the development of communities of opportunity and equity.

Personal lifeEdit

In 1951, he married Mary Maxwell Gates (1929-1994), whom he met at the University of Washington (UW), and they remained married until her death in 1994. They had three children: Kristianne, Bill, and Libby. His two daughters, Kristi Blake and Libby Armintrout, are both active members of the UW community.[1]

In 1996, Gates married his second wife Mimi Gardner Gates (b. 1943), who was the director of the Seattle Art Museum.[1]

He has been a lifelong supporter of the Washington Huskies college football team.[7]

In 2018, it was revealed that he suffers from Alzheimer's disease.[11][12]

Awards and recognitionEdit

Bill Gerberding (UW president, 1979–1995) described Bill Gates Sr. as "a good man with a big heart [and] generous public spirit", while former Seattle Mayor Norman Rice has characterized Gates' core values as "social justice and economic opportunity".[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Glascock, Stuart. "Mighty is the Man Who Wears the Purple and the Gold". UW Alumni Magazine. Archived from the original on January 9, 2019. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  2. ^ "Bill Gates Fast Facts". CNN. March 2, 2018. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  3. ^ "General Information - Leadership - Bill Gates Sr". Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "Mr.William H.Gates, Sr". World Justice Project. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  5. ^ "Is Bill Gates a closet liberal?". January 29, 1998. p. 2. Archived from the original on September 18, 2007. Retrieved August 4, 2007.
  6. ^ "Transcript: Bill Moyers Interviews Bill Gates". NOW on PBS. September 5, 2003.
  7. ^ a b Cauce, Ana Mari (November 30, 2015). "Happy Birthday, Bill Gates Sr". University of Washington. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  8. ^ "About the Summit" (PDF). 2011. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  9. ^ "Table of contents for Wealth and our commonwealth : why America should tax accumulated fortunes / William H. Gates, Sr., and Chuck Collins". Library of Congress.
  10. ^ "Wealth And Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes". 60 Plus Association. March 18, 2003. pp. 57–59.
  11. ^ "Bill Gates reveals personal reason he's helping fight Alzheimer's disease". The Today Show. April 10, 2019.
  12. ^ "Bill Gates Reveals His Father Suffers From Alzheimer's". TIME. April 10, 2019.
  13. ^ Townley, Alvin (January 2007). Legacy of Honor: The Values and Influence of America's Eagle Scouts. New York: St. Martin's Press (imprint: Thomas Dunne Books). pp. 172–175. ISBN 9780312366537. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  14. ^ Ray, Mark (2007). "What It Means to Be an Eagle Scout". Scouting. Retrieved January 5, 2007.
  15. ^ "William H. Gates Hall". Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. July 24, 2003. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  16. ^ "Office of Ceremonies: Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus Award Winners". University of Washington. Retrieved January 8, 2019.