- Bill Gates, who slipped from his spot as the second-richest person in the world this summer, spent most of his time away from the media before gearing up for a press tour ahead of a new Netflix documentary about his life.
- He and his wife Melinda announced a new lobbying organization, separate from the Gates Foundation.
- Gates got some bad press too; He was linked to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s donations to MIT (a spokesperson for Gates says he never went into business with Epstein or was friends with him) and the Gates Foundation was criticized for giving Indian Prime Minister Modi a humanitarian award.
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In some respects, this was a typical summer for Bill Gates. He published his annual summer reading list, visited Dairy Queen with his friend and colleague Warren Buffet, and continued tweeting about global health concerns.
Gates also had some unusually bad press this summer. The New Yorker published emails from the MIT Media Lab suggesting that Gates was “directed” by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to donate $2 million to the institution (Gates’ spokesperson has pushed back on that characterization), and activists have organized protests and petitions against the Gates Foundation’s decision to give Indian Prime Minister Modi a humanitarian award.
But an upcoming Netflix documentary about his life might put him back in the news for more positive reasons.
Here’s everything Bill Gates was up to this summer.
He called failing to create Android at Microsoft his ‘greatest mistake ever.’
In June, Gates expressed his regret at failing to develop a successful smart phone at Microsoft.
Since its release just over a decade ago, Android has become the world’s dominant smartphone operating system by market share.
He learned how to prepare BBQ chicken from Washington’s teacher of the year.
In August, Bill Gates admitted that he’d never learned how to cut and cook a chicken. Washington state’s teacher of the year, Robert Hand, who teaches family and consumer science, decided to fix that.
Apparently Gates doesn’t do much cooking at home, but he does usually wash the dishes.
He touted his annual summer reading list.
Each summer, Gates releases his reading list for the season. He claims to get through one book a week, and this summer he suggested 5 titles.
He says none of them are a “light read” — they include Dostoyevsky’s “A Gentleman in Moscow” and “The Future of Capitalism” by Paul Collier. He also plugged his wife Melinda’s book “The Moment of Lift.”
He worked a shift at Dairy Queen with Warren Buffet.
Gates attended Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in Omaha early this summer. He and Buffet took a break to stop by a Dairy Queen, where the two billionaires learned to work the cash register, speak with customers, and even how to make a Blizzard (served upside down, of course).
He was ousted from his spot as second-richest person in the world.
Bill Gates slipped from his ranking as the second-richest person in the world. The No. 2 spot is now occupied by billionaire Bernard Arnault, who made his fortune with French luxury conglomerate LVMH, according to Bloomberg. Gates is now ranked at the third-richest person in the world.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index placed Arnault’s worth at $108 billion, compared to Gates’ $107 billion. This was the first time in the seven years the ranking has existed that Gates ranked lower than second.
Bill and Melinda Gates launched a lobbying organization with a focus on health, education, and poverty.
The lobbying group, although independent from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will focus on the same issues. The initiative is listed as a 501(c)(4) organization, and will work on legislation in a nonpartisan manner, according to a spokesperson.
He faced backlash over the Gates Foundations’ decision to give India’s Narendra Modi a humanitarian award.
The Gates Foundation announced it would award Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a humanitarian award for building millions of toilets in rural India.
Protesters have criticized Modi for the humanitarian crisis in Kashmir, and for his his poor record on human rights and inciting violence toward minority groups.
A petition addressed to Bill and Melinda Gates regarding the award has reached more than 100,000 signatures, including three Nobel Peace Prize recipients.
Business Insider has reached out to Gates’ representatives for comment on the petition.
He was publicly linked to Jeffrey Epstein.
The New Yorker published emails from the MIT Media Lab suggesting that Gates was “directed” by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to donate $2 million to the institution.
Gates’ spokesperson contradicted the contents of the emails, saying “Although Epstein pursued Bill Gates aggressively, any account of a business partnership or personal relationship between the two is categorically false.”
Now, he’s preparing for a new Netflix documentary about his life.
Gates has been filming the documentary for the last few years. You can watch the trailer here: