If you’re interested in the lives of celebrities, you’re probably aware that Los Angeles, U.S., is somewhat of a breeding ground for the rich and famous. Home to the likes of the Beckhams, the Kardashians, and Steven Spielberg, living in LA is often an indicator that someone has ‘made it’. As the second richest person in the world, there’s no doubt that Bill Gates has reached the upper echelons of society, so does he live amongst the stars in LA?
William ‘Bill’ Henry Gates III was born on 28thOctober 1955 in Seattle, Washington. He lived there throughout his childhood and teenage years before he moved to Cambridge, at the age of 18 to study at Harvard University. Gates remained in Massachusetts until 1979 and then relocated back to Seattle. Currently, Bill lives in a mega-mansion just outside of Seattle in a city called Medina.
The city of Seattle holds a lot of value in Bill Gates’ heart. But what was it like growing up in the Emerald City? Stay tuned for a full overview of Bill’s life on the West Coast.
Born in 1955, Bill Gates was the second child and first son of William H. Gates II and Mary Maxwell. Bill’s father was a founding partner of the law firm, Preston Gates & Ellis. His mother was a school teacher, University of Washington regent, and chairwoman of United Way International.
Growing up in a middle-class household, Bill had a comfortable childhood. The only hardship his family experienced was in September 1962 when a tornado ripped through the Sand Point district and destroyed part of the family home.
At the age of 13, Gates passed entrance exams and was enrolled at Lakeside School, a distinguished private school for boys in North Seattle. At the time, Bill was skeptical about attending such a strict school, but it was here that he met fellow Microsoft founder, Paul Allen.
In a 2005 speech at Lakeside, Gates said:
“One reason I’m so grateful to Lakeside is that I can directly trace the founding of Microsoft back to my earliest days here. […] The experience and insight Paul Allen and I gained here gave us the confidence to start a company based on this wild idea that nobody else agreed with”
Moving to Massachusetts
Gates remained at the family home in Seattle until 1973 when he graduated from Lakeside and enrolled at Harvard University, Cambridge.
At Harvard, Bill resided at Currier House, one of the 12 undergraduate residential houses. It was here that Gates met Steve Ballmer, who went on to become the CEO of Microsoft when Gates stood down in 2000.
Steve and Bill met as they were living on the same corridor in Currier House, and they quickly formed a close friendship. According to The Harvard Gazette, “They would talk and argue and study together at high volume, each of them rocking back and forth”.
Upon the release of the Altair 8800 in 1975, Bill and Paul Allen saw an opportunity to start their own software company, Microsoft. The same year, Gates dropped out of Harvard and the pair established their first office in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Microsoft grew tremendously between 1975 and 1979 but the team decided it was time to move closer to home. On January 1st, 1979 Microsoft relocated to Bellevue, Washington. Gates has stayed in the Washington area ever since.
Although Bill has an extensive real estate portfolio, his primary residence is in Medina, Washington. He purchased the 5-acre lot in 1988 for $2,050,000. 7 years of development and $63.2 million later, the plot is now a 66,000 square foot mansion.
Overlooking the rivers of Lake Washington, the property is named Xanadu 2.0 after Charles Foster Kane’s estate in the film Citizen Kane. The property features 8 bedrooms, 25 bathrooms, a 2,100 square foot library, 1,000 square foot dining room, 60-foot long indoor pool, 2,500 square foot gym, and a 23-car garage.