- Bill Gates, who slipped from his spot as the second-richest person in the world this summer, spent most of his time away from the media before gearing up for a press tour ahead of a new Netflix documentary about his life.
- He and his wife, Melinda, announced a new lobbying organisation, separate from the Gates Foundation.
- Gates got some bad press too; he was linked to the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s donations to MIT (a representative for Gates says he never went into business with Epstein or was friends with him), and the Gates Foundation was criticised for giving Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a humanitarian award.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In some respects, this was a typical summer for Bill Gates. He published his annual summer reading list, visited Dairy Queen with his friend and colleague Warren Buffett, and continued tweeting about global health concerns.
Gates also had some unusually bad press this summer. The New Yorker published emails from the MIT Media Lab suggesting that Gates was “directed” by the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to donate $US2 million to the institution (Gates’ representative has pushed back on that characterization), and activists have organised protests and petitions against the Gates Foundation’s decision to give Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a humanitarian award.
Still, a coming Netflix documentary about his life might put him back in the news for more positive reasons.
Here’s everything Bill Gates was up to this summer.
He called failing to create Android at Microsoft his “greatest mistake ever.”
In June, Gates expressed regret at failing to develop a successful smartphone at Microsoft.
Since its release just over a decade ago, Google’s Android has become the world’s dominant smartphone operating system by market share.
He learned how to prepare barbecue chicken from Washington’s teacher of the year.
In August, Gates said he’d never learned how to cut and cook a chicken. Washington state’s teacher of the year, Robert Hand, who teaches family and consumer science, decided to fix that.
Apparently Gates doesn’t do much cooking at home, but he does usually wash the dishes.
He touted his annual summer reading list.
Each summer, Gates releases his reading list for the season. He claims to get through one book a week, and this summer he suggested five titles.
He says none of them are a “light read” – they include “A Gentleman in Moscow” and “The Future of Capitalism” by Paul Collier. He also plugged “The Moment of Lift” by his wife, Melinda.
He worked a shift at Dairy Queen with Warren Buffett.
Gates attended Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, early this summer. He and Buffett took a break to stop by a Dairy Queen, where the two billionaires learned to work the cash register, speak with customers, and even how to make a Blizzard (served upside down, of course).
He was ousted from his spot as the second-richest person in the world.
Gates slipped from his ranking as the second-richest person in the world. He was replaced by the billionaire Bernard Arnault, who made his fortune with the French luxury conglomerate LVMH, according to Bloomberg.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index placed Arnault’s worth at $US108 billion, compared with Gates’ $US107 billion. This was the first time in the ranking’s seven-year existence in which Gates ranked lower than second.
Bill and Melinda Gates launched a lobbying organisation with a focus on health, education, and poverty.
The lobbying group, though independent from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is meant to focus on the same issues. The initiative is listed as a 501(c)(4) organisation and plans to work on legislation in a nonpartisan manner, according to a representative.
He faced backlash over the Gates Foundation’s decision to give Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a humanitarian award.
The Gates Foundation announced it would award Modi with a humanitarian award for building millions of toilets in rural India.
Protesters have criticised Modi over the humanitarian crisis in Kashmir and for his overall record on human rights and inciting violence toward minority groups.
A petition addressed to the Gateses regarding the award has reached more than 100,000 signatures, including from three Nobel Peace Prize recipients.
Business Insider has reached out to Gates’ representatives for comment on the petition.
He was publicly linked to Jeffrey Epstein.
The New Yorker published emails from the MIT Media Lab suggesting that Gates was “directed” by the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to donate $US2 million to the institution.
A Gates representative disputed the contents of the emails, saying, “Although Epstein pursued Bill Gates aggressively, any account of a business partnership or personal relationship between the two is categorically false.”
Now, he’s preparing for a new Netflix documentary about his life.
Gates had filmed the documentary for the past few years. You can watch the trailer here:
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.