William Henry Gates, Sr.
(born William Henry Gates III
on November 30
) is a retired American attorney
. He is the father of Microsoft
founder Bill Gates
Gates was born in Atlanta, Georgia
to William Henry Gates II or Jr., later Sr. (Bremerton, Washington
, March 14
– Bremerton, Washington
, August 17
), and wife (married c. 1913) Lillian Elizabeth Rice (Bremerton, Washington
, 1891 – Bremerton, Washington
, November 27
). He was the third in his family to have the same name, his grandfather being the first William Henry Gates. After high school he enlisted in the United States Army
, changing his name to William Gates, Jr. to avoid the appearance of elitism
. He fought in World War II
and was honorably discharged
in November 1946. He attended the University of Washington
(UW) under the G.I. Bill
, where he earned a B.A.
in 1949 and a law degree
in 1950. He practiced law
until 1998, primarily with the law firm
which he co-founded as Shidler & King in 1964, later known as Preston Gates & Ellis LLP
, today known as K&L Gates
. Gates also served on the board of Planned Parenthood
In 1998, Gates retired from PGE. He currently serves on the Board of Regents for the University of Washington, and is a co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which his son Bill and his son's wife Melinda founded. He has adopted the suffix "Sr." to distinguish himself from his more famous son.
Gates is co-author, with Chuck Collins, of the book Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes, a defense of the policies promoted by the estate tax.
He married Mary Maxwell Gates, whom he met at UW, and who died in 1994. They had three children: Kristi (Kristianne), Bill, and Libby. In 1996 Gates married Mimi Gardner Gates, who is director of the Seattle Art Museum.
Awards and recognition
- Earned the Boy Scouts of America's Eagle Scout rank, January 13, 1941 and as an adult the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award
- University of Washington School of Law Distinguished Alumnus, 1991
- Recipient of the American Judicature Society Herbert Harley Award, 1992
- Served on the Board for Judicial Administration, Washington State Supreme Court, 1993-1995
- President of the Washington State Bar Association, 1986-1987
- Inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2003
- Joined the Costco board of directors, 2003
- Has a building at the University of Washington School of Law named for him, William H. Gates Hall, 2003
- Public Education Foundation speaker at Edmonds-Woodway, 2004