William Henry Gates III is an American business magnate. Bill Gates was born October 28, 1955 in Seattle to William Henry Gates II and Mary Ann Maxwell.
His father was a prominent attorney who co-founded Preston, Gates and Ellis, a law firm with offices across the U.S. and China.
Mary Maxwell Gates served as a Director on the board of several companies including First Interstate Bank Corp, Unigard Security Insurance Group, Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone Company and KIRO TV of Seattle. She was appointed to the board of the United Way of America, where she persuaded IBM CEO John Opel to help her son in his software venture.
Her paternal grandfather, James Willard Maxwell (1864–1951) was President of the National City Bank in Seattle from 1911 to 1929 and Director of the Seattle branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Thus, Gates was born into a family of old money. Several genealogical sites show that he is even related to the Queen of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II.
As an interesting piece of trivia, Bill Gates was arrested first in 1975 in Albuquerque, New Mexico for speeding and driving without a valid driver’s license, and again for an undocumented traffic violation in December 13, 1977.
In 2000, Bill Gates made international headlines when he donated 90% of his wealth (which has since doubled) and founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private foundation in the world, along with a major donation from his longtime friend Warren Buffet. He also donated almost all his shares of Microsoft to his own foundation.
“An LA Times investigation found that [the Gates Foundation] had invested $423 million in Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil Corp., and Chevron Corp.
The Times found that the Gates Foundation has holdings in many companies that have failed tests of social responsibility because of environmental lapses, employment discrimination, disregard for worker rights, or unethical practices.
In addition, The Times found the Gates Foundation endowment had major holdings in companies ranked among the worst polluters, including ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical Co. and Tyco International Ltd.”
Vandana Shiva (November 5, 1952) is an Indian scholar, environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate, and anti-globalization author.
She received the Right Livelihood Award in 1993, an award regarded as an “Alternative Nobel Prize.”
She moved to Canada to pursue a Masters in the Philosophy of Science at the University of Guelph in 1977. In 1978, she completed and received her Ph.D. at the University of Western Ontario. Her dissertation was titled “Hidden variables and locality in quantum theory” in which she discussed the mathematical and philosophical implications of hidden variable theories that fall outside of the purview of Bell’s theorem. She later went on to pursue interdisciplinary research in science, technology, and environmental policy at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore.
Michael John Parenti (September 30, 1933) is an American political scientist and cultural critic who was raised by an Italian-American working class family in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City. He received a B.A. from the City College of New York, an M.A. from Brown University and a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University.