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  cross-referenced news and research resources about

 US multi-billionaire Bill Gates

William H Gates III

, 47 , self made

Source: Microsoft
Net Worth: $40.7 bil
Home State: Washington
Marital Status: married , 2 children
Harvard University, Drop Out

Microsoft founder no doubt sleeping easier after settling pesky federal antitrust suit. This year the world's richest man will even get a little extra pocket change about $100 million from company's first shareholder dividend. Microsoft no longer the torrid growth machine it once was, but is weathering tech storm better than most. Having kicked himself upstairs to more cerebral job of chief software architect, Gates is busy working with developers to push Microsoft beyond the desktop into devices like tablet PCs, cell phones, TVs. Maintaining secrecy on next version of Windows (dubbed Longhorn, set for release in 2005), claims it's not just an upgrade. Meanwhile tackling global health and education with $24 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Funds flowing to disease prevention (polio, AIDS), vaccine development; lately buying drug stocks. Diversifies own wealth via Cascade Investments: Corbis, stakes in Republic Services, Canadian National Railway, Gabelli Asset Management.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates

world's richest person

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