Independence Week 2013: Bill and Melinda Gates

Posted by Mike Merritt in Independence Week on

Bill and Melinda Gates

Photo by Kjetil Ree. CC-BY-SA.

Today, I feature Bill and Melinda Gates. Despite what you may think of Gates’ tenure at Microsoft, even the harshest critics of his business practices will tell you they admire his philanthropy.

Since its founding in 1994, the foundation has donated billions for health research and education, among other goals, and the Gates’ plan to give even more as they get into their elder years, being among a small group of philanthropists who plan to give away most of their wealth by the time of their deaths (more on this tomorrow).

I also admire their plans to continually invest their endowment to increase it over time. I understand this is a somewhat controversial practice, at least in terms of who they’re investing in, but as pointed out above, Bill Gates is a shrewd businessman, so I think the investments should return a much larger endowment than what was initially invested, and in companies more ethical than when the foundation started its investment.

The biggest winners, of course, will be those whom had their health and education improved thanks to the donations.

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