Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars’s hit Billionaire reached No 3 on both sides of the Atlantic last year. The irony of the lyrics isn’t lost on either of us. They are, Gates chuckles, regularly used by his three children to poke fun at him.
At 55, he has graced the cover of Forbes magazine many times. As the co-founder, with Paul Allen, of Microsoft, he grew a 1975 back-room start-up into a software behemoth worth, at its peak, $400 billion. Oprah Winfrey is a close friend; the pair meet regularly and she has discussed signing his ‘Giving Pledge’ to donate the bulk of her $2.7 billion estate to charity.
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