In the Fall 1995 issue of Opportunist Magazine, Bill Gates was the Cover Story...
On June 16, 2006, Gates announced that he would move to a part-time role within Microsoft, leaving day-to-day operations to management, to begin a full-time career in philanthropy, but would remain as chairman.
Gates credited Warren Buffett with influencing his decision to commit himself to charitable causes.
Days later, Buffett announced that he would begin matching Gates’ contributions to the Gates Foundation, up to $1.5 billion per year in stock.
In 2000, Gates and his wife founded the charitable Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The generosity and extensive philanthropy of David Rockefeller has been credited as a major influence.
Bill Gates and his father have met with Rockefeller several times, and have modeled their giving in part on the Rockefeller family’s philanthropic focus, namely those global problems that are ignored by governments and other organizations.
The foundation’s grants have provided funds for college scholarships for under-represented minorities, AIDS prevention, diseases prevalent in third world countries, and other causes.
In 2000, the Gates Foundation endowed the University of Cambridge with $210 million for the Gates Cambridge Scholarships. The Foundation has also pledged over $7 billion to its various causes, including $1 billion to the United Negro College Fund. According to a 2004 Forbes magazine article, Gates gave away over $29 billion to charities from 2000 onwards. These donations are usually cited as sparking a substantial change in attitudes towards philanthropy among the very rich, with philanthropy becoming the norm.
As of 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates were the second most generous philanthropists in America, having given over $28 billion to charity.