- The richest man in the world is giving almost all of
- Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife plan to devote
most of their $105 billion fortune to wiping out deadly diseases such as
AIDS and malaria, the Sunday Times of London reported today.
- "Melinda and I want our children - and all children
- to grow up in a world without AIDS," Gates said.
- The astonishing move would turn Gates' charitable foundation
into by far the biggest benefactor in the world.
- But the billionaire computer geek won't leave his two
kids in the poor house - he's setting aside $21 million for their inheritance.
- The William H. Gates Foundation, the family charity run
by Gates' father, will announce in the next three months how it plans to
become the largest charity on Earth.
- "My son is going to have critics all his life because
of his wealth. But I'm optimistic we have put to rest any criticism on
the basis of his not being sufficiently generous," Gates Sr. told
- The foundation now has about $10.3 billion in its coffers,
making it the fifth largest private charity in the world. The London-based
Glaxco Wellcome Foundation is the largest, with $16.6 billion.
- Now embroiled in an anti-trust suit with the federal
government, Gates Jr., 43, expects to cash out his Microsoft holdings and
divert almost all of his wealth to the foundation before he and his wife
- Most of the money would be devoted to the search for
vaccines for killer communicable diseases.
- Gates Jr. and Melinda have been worried about world health
issues since visiting South Africa and India in 1995, his father said.
- Earlier this year, Gates gave $2.23 billion to the William
H. Gates Foundation and $1.11 to the Gates Learning Foundation. He also
gave $20 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Gates, father of the Windows operating system, has come
under fire for making relatively paltry donations - especially computer
gifts critics contend hook young users on his product.
- But Gates, a self-made man, has read Andrew Carnegie's
"The Gospel of Truth" several times and loves the quote, "The
man who dies rich dies in disgrace."