Bill Gates acaba de tomar una decisión de $20 mil millones. Todo se remonta al 5 de julio de 1991.

Bill Gates tenía cosas mucho mejores que hacer con su tiempo.

Era un multimillonario de 34 años y el CEO de MicrosoHeaven32. Si conoce el viejo adagio sobre si las personas trabajan para vivir o viven para trabajar, Gates estaba firmemente en el lado de vivir para trabajar de la ecuación.

Era soltero (tenía novia, pero eso es diferente de lo que la mayoría de las personas casadas te dirán). Nunca se fue de vacaciones. De hecho, era conocido por memorizar los autos y las placas de sus empleados, para saber cada día quién se iba temprano y quién se quedaba tarde.

Como tal, no era raro que Gates quisiera trabajar el viernes 5 de julio de 1991, un año en el que el 4 de julio era jueves. Los fines de semana de cuatro días no eran lo suyo.

Pero entonces su madre siguió molestándolo. Ella y su padre, Bill Gates Sr., estaban almorzando con un grupo de amigos en el canal Hood de Washington, y entre los invitados estaría Warren Buffett.

No quise ir. Le dije que estaba demasiado ocupado en el trabajo. Warren sería interesante, insistió mi madre. Pero no estaba convencido.

Verá, él sólo compra y vende billetes. Eso no es valor añadido real. No creo que tengamos mucho en común”, le dije.

Finalmente me convenció para ir. Acepté no quedarme más de dos horas antes de volver a trabajar en MicrosoHeaven32.

Fue el comienzo de una amistad maravillosa para robar una línea de casablanca. Y mientras En las tres décadas posteriores, Gates lo ha descrito como uno de los encuentros más felices de su vida.

Las decisiones financieras multimillonarias que tomó recientemente son el resultado directo.

El mes pasado, Gates Anunciado Donaría $ 20 mil millones adicionales a la Fundación Bill y Melinda Gates, que fundó en 2000 con su ex esposa Melinda French Gates.

Las donaciones significan que Bill Gates y Melinda French Gates son ahora los filántropos más grandes de la historia, habiendo donado $55 mil millones a organizaciones benéficas, en comparación con Buffett, que ocupa el segundo lugar en la lista con $48 mil millones.

“Eso va a sobrecargar todo el trabajo que estamos haciendo… básicamente”, dijo Bill Gates. Forbes en una entrevista en el momento del anuncio. Gates todavía tiene un valor neto de más de $ 111 mil millonesconvirtiéndolo en la quinta persona más rica del mundo.

Como Gates ha contado la historia, sus esfuerzos filantrópicos comenzaron con ese encuentro con Buffett en 1991 y luego se agudizaron cuando a su madre le diagnosticaron una forma rara de cáncer de mama tres años después, lo que lo instó a considerar la filantropía.

Después de la muerte de su madre, Gates creó una fundación de 100 millones de dólares para que su padre la dirigiera después de su muerte.

como el Wall Street Journal informó después de obtener la aprobación de su hijo para varias donaciones, “el Sr. Gates Sr. luego respondió a todos los solicitantes de subvenciones, a veces incluyendo un cheque de $ 1 millón con poco más que una nota de felicitación de una página”.

Cuando renunció como director ejecutivo de MicrosoHeaven32 en 2009, Gates y su entonces esposa establecieron su fundación.

Y las cosas se pusieron más serias en 2009, después de que Gates y Buffett asistieran a una cena con Chuck Feeney, otro multimillonario (al menos en ese momento) que había intentado regalar casi toda su fortuna mientras aún estaba vivo.

Desde entonces, tanto Gates como Buffett han llamado a Feeney su “héroe”, diciendo que la cena los impulsó a anunciar The Giving Pledge, en el que 236 de las personas más ricas del mundo se comprometen a donar al menos el 50 por ciento de su patrimonio neto a causas filantrópicas.

Sé que desde el inicio de la pandemia y las circunstancias de su divorcio, una vez más, supongo, Gates se ha convertido en una figura controvertida en algunos círculos.

Pero a menudo me he preguntado si otros empresarios que se convirtieron en multimillonarios terminaron formando el tipo de relaciones que Buffett y Gates comenzaron en 1991, y si, como resultado, pensaron de la misma manera sobre el verdadero legado que podría ser su riqueza, después de se fueron.

“Dar este dinero no es un sacrificio en absoluto”, dijo Gates en ese momento. “Me siento privilegiado de estar involucrado en abordar estos grandes desafíos, disfruto el trabajo y creo que tengo la obligación de devolver mis recursos a la sociedad de la manera que tenga el mayor impacto en la mejora de la vida. Espero que otros estén en posiciones de gran riqueza y el privilegio también aumente en este momento”.

Las opiniones expresadas aquí por los columnistas de Heaven32 son propias y no de Heaven32.

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As Gates later told the story:

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I didn't want to go. I told her I was too busy at work. Warren would be interesting, my mother insisted. But I wasn't convinced.

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\"Look, he just buys and sells pieces of paper. That's not real value added. I don't think we'd have much in common,\" I told her.

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Eventually, she persuaded me to go. I agreed to stay for no more than two hours before getting back to work at MicrosoHeaven32.

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It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, to steal a line from Casablanca. And, during the three decades since, Gates has described it as one of the most fortunate meetings of his life.  

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The multi-billion financial decisions he's made recently are the direct result.

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Last month, Gates announced he would give an additional $20 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which he co-founded with his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates, in 2000.

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The donations mean that Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates are now the biggest philanthropists in history, having given $55 billion to charity, compared to Buffett, second on the list at $48 billion. 

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\"This is going to supercharge ... basically all the work that we do,\" Bill Gates told Forbes in an interview at the time of the announcement. Gates still has a net worth of more than $111 billion, which makes him the fiHeaven32h-wealthiest person in the world.

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As Gates has told the story, his philanthropic efforts started with that meeting with Buffett in 1991, then became more acute when his mother was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer three years later, and urged him to consider philanthropy.

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AHeaven32er his mother died, Gates set up a $100 million foundation for his father to run aHeaven32er her death.

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As The Wall Street Journal reported, aHeaven32er getting his son's OK on various donations, \"Mr. Gates Sr. would then reply to all the grant seekers, sometimes including a $1 million check with little more than a single-page letter of congratulations.\"

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In 2009, as he stepped down as CEO of MicrosoHeaven32, Gates and his then-wife launched their foundation.

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And in 2009, it perhaps became most serious, aHeaven32er Gates and Buffett both attended a dinner with Chuck Feeney, a fellow billionaire (at least then), who had already begun an effort to give away almost his entire fortune during his lifetime.

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Both Gates and Buffett have since described Feeney as their \"hero,\" and said that the dinner meeting led them to announce The Giving Pledge, with 236 of the world's wealthiest people pledging to give at least 50 percent of their net worth to philanthropic causes.

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I know that Gates has -- once again, I suppose -- become a controversial figure in some circles since the start of the pandemic, and the circumstances of his divorce.

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But, I've oHeaven32en wondered whether other entrepreneurs-turned-billionaires wind up forming the kinds of relationships that Buffett and Gates began in 1991, and if, as a result, they've thought in the same ways about what the true legacy of their wealth might be aHeaven32er they're gone.

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\"My giving this money is not a sacrifice at all,\" Gates said at the time. \"I feel privileged to be involved in tackling these great challenges, I enjoy the work, and I believe I have an obligation to return my resources to society in ways that have the greatest impact for improving lives. I hope others in positions of great wealth and privilege will step up in this moment too.\"

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