Every geek knows who Bill Gates is, but just who is the man behind the legend? In an uncharacteristically candid interview with the UK’s Daily Mail, he describes not just his family life, but what he plans to do with his personal fortune. It might sound like an easy question to someone like you and me, but if you actually stop and think about what you would do with $56 billion (after making $28 billion in charitable donations), you’ll begin to appreciate why it’s not so cut and dry.
Here is the coles notes version if you don't feel like reading through the full article.
When asked about his children’s future.
‘The Billionaire song is what my kids tease me with,’ he says. ‘They sing it to me. It’s funny.’
In reference to his personal fortune, Gates responded: ‘I don’t think that amount of money would be good for them.’ He won’t specify what they will get, but the reports that they’ll receive ‘only’ $10 million each can’t be far off, because he concedes, ‘It will be a minuscule portion of my wealth. It will mean they have to find their own way.
'They will be given an unbelievable education and that will all be paid for. And certainly anything related to health issues we will take care of. But in terms of their income, they will have to pick a job they like and go to work. They are normal kids now. They do chores, they get pocket money.’
What does Bill Gates do when his kids ask for an iPad?
His face hardens: ‘They have the Windows equivalent. They have a Zune music player, which is a great Windows portable player. They are not deprived children.’
What About Cars?
“I drive myself around town in a normal Mercedes. I’ve had a Lexus. The family has a Porsche, which is a nice car that we sometimes take out. We have a minivan and that’s what we use when it’s the five of us. My eldest daughter rides horses, so we go to a lot of three-day shows.”
When asked if Philanthropy is more important to him now than Microsoft.
‘My full-time work for the rest of my life is this foundation.’
Will he ever return to helm Microsoft?
‘No. I’m part-time involved. But this is my job now.’
On Mark Zuckerberg
According to Gates, Zuckerberg “has already pledged to give most of his fortune away. Gates lets slip that Zuckerberg may be engaged to Priscilla Chan, his long-term girlfriend: ‘I didn’t say to Mark, “Give me all your money!” He was predisposed to do it and he came to me seeking advice”.
When asked if Gates still sees himself as a Geek.
‘Hey, if being a geek means you’re willing to take a 400-page book on vaccines and where they work and where they don’t, and you go off and study that and you use that to challenge people to learn more, then absolutely. I’m a geek. I plead guilty. Gladly.'