William Gates Sr.
Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Live Web cast May 11, 2001 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT
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William H. Gates, Sr. -- best known as the father of the richest man in the world, Microsoft founder Bill Gates -- is co-chairman of the Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is a successful and prominent attorney.
The elder Gates served three years in the U.S. Army during World War II before earning his bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Washington. He became a partner in the law firm of Shidler McBroom Gates & Lucas in 1964 and eventually established Preston Gates & Ellis, one of Seattle's leading law firms.
He has served as president of both the Seattle/King County Bar Association and the Washington State Bar Association and has held numerous other leadership posts, including positions with the Washington Courts 2000 Committee and membership in the American Bar Association House of Delegates.
Gates, Sr. has served as trustee, officer and volunteer for more than two dozen organizations in the Northwest, including the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the King County United Way. He presently is a member of the Board of Directors of the United Way of America.
In 1995, he founded the Technology Alliance, a cooperative regional effort to expand technology-based employment in Washington. He also has been a strong advocate for education for many years, chairing the Seattle Public School Levy Campaign in 1971 and serving as a member of the University of Washington's Board of Regents since 1997.
His awards and honors include the 1992 American Judicature Society Herbert Harley Award and being named the 1991 University of Washington Law School Distinguished Alumnus.
Gates, Sr. and his late wife, Mary Maxwell Gates, raised three children: Kristianne, Bill and Libby. Now married to Mimi Gardner, Gates continues to lend his vision and skills to many civic programs, cultural organizations and business initiatives including those devoted to improving the health of children in Third World countries.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation