William H. Gates II, a lawyer, philanthropist and the father of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has died at 94. Gates Sr. died peacefully from Alzheimer’s disease on Monday at his beach home in Washington State.
In an obituary, the family declared he had a “deep commitment to social and economic equity,” saying he was responsible for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s fundamental efforts to improve global health.
“My dad’s wisdom, generosity, empathy, and humility had a huge influence on people around the world,” Bill Gates wrote in a tribute.
“When I was a kid, he wasn’t prescriptive or domineering, and yet he never let me coast along at things I was good at, and he always pushed me to try things I hated or didn’t think I could do (swimming and soccer, for example),” Gates Jr. wrote in the tribute. “And he modeled an amazing work ethic. He was one of the hardest-working and most respected lawyers in Seattle, as well as a major civic leader in our region.”
The family announced that a memorial service would be held later due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.