Father of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, William Henry Gates II passed away at age 94. "We have all had a long time to reflect on just how lucky we are to have had this amazing man in our lives for so many years," Bill Gates wrote on his blog. An army veteran, Gates was the co-founder of a Seattle law firm.
Gates said his father played an important role in starting the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. William Gates Sr served as co-chair of the organisation. Gates Sr dedicated his energy to several causes including eradicating polio, reducing infant mortality, building schools and helping find a vaccine for AIDS.
Gates Sr, who passed away at home in Washington state, was suffering from Alzheimer’s. For more than 13 years since the charity organisation was founded, Gates Sr helped his son run it, while Bill Gates was busy running Microsoft. He would confer with philanthropic experts, send son lists of proposed grants, wrote checks and helped shape the charity’s major goals. "People used to ask my dad if he was the real Bill Gates. The truth is, he was everything I try to be,” Gates wrote in a tribute to his father.