Gates, Bill (William Henry Gates 3d), 1955-, American business executive, b. Seattle, Wash. At the age of 19, Gates founded (1974) the Microsoft Corp., a computer software firm, with Paul Allen. They began by purchasing the rights to convert an existing software package. In 1980 they agreed to produce the operating system for the personal computer being developed by International Business Machines (IBM). That system, MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System), and subsequent programs (including the Windows operating systems) made Microsoft the world's largest producer of software for microcomputers.

In 1997 the U.S. Justice Dept. accused Microsoft of violating a 1995 antitrust agreement, because the Windows 95 operating system required consumers to load Microsoft's Internet browser—thus giving Microsoft a monopolistic advantage over other browser manufacturers. In late 1999 the trial judge decided that Microsoft was a monopoly that had stifled competition, and the following June he ordered the breakup of Microsoft into two companies, a decision that Microsoft appealed. Although the appeals court overturned (2001) the breakup, it agreed that Microsoft had stifled competition and returned the case to a lower court for resolution. Subsequently the government and the company agreed to a settlement that placed some restrictions on Microsoft but would not essentially diminish the advantage its operating system monopoly gave the software giant; several states contested the settlement, but a judge approved it in 2002. In the European Union the company has also faced scrutiny over anticompetitive concerns, and there it has several times been fined hundreds of millions of euros.

Gates, who is chairman of Microsoft, is one of the wealthiest persons in the world. In 1994 he founded the William H. Gates Foundation (focusing on health issues in developing countries) and in 1997 established the Gates Library Foundation, later renamed the Gates Learning Foundation (providing education assistance). In 1999 the former was renamed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the latter was merged (2000) into it. In 2008 Gates, while remaining as company chairman, withdrew from daily participation in the running of Microsoft in order to devote more time to the foundation. He has written The Road Ahead (1995, with N. Myhrvold and P. Rinearson) and Business @ the Speed of Thought (1999).

See J. Wallace, Hard Drive (1992).

Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., 1950-, American scholar and critic, b. Keyser, W.Va., grad. Yale (B.A. 1973), Cambridge (Ph.D. 1979), where he studied with Wole Soyinka. Gates is an expert on African-American literature and culture. His rediscovery and reinterpretation of historic black literature began in 1981 with his finding, authenticating, and publishing of the first known novel by an African American, Harriet E. Wilson's Our Nig (1859). Since then Gates has been instrumental in bringing other previously lost works to light. His many books of criticism include Figures in Black: Words, Signs, and the "Racial" Self (1987) and The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism (1988), in which he develops the notion of "signifyin(g)," a linguistic tradition running throughout black culture that describes things or people by the use of humor, paradox, indirection, boast, and insult. His nonacademic works include Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man (1997); he is also coeditor of The Dictionary of Global Culture (1997) and The Annotated Uncle Tom's Cabin (2006). In 1999 he wrote and hosted a public television series on Africa and wrote a companion text, Wonders of the African World. Gates has taught at several universities, including Yale (1979-85), Cornell (1985-90), and Harvard (1991-).

See his memoir, Colored People: Letters to My Daughters (1993).

Gates, Horatio, c.1727-1806, American Revolutionary general, b. Maldon, Essex, England. Entering the British army at an early age, he fought in America in the French and Indian War and served in the expedition against Martinique. Later he resigned from the army, and returned to America (1772) to settle in what is now West Virginia. At the start of the American Revolution, he joined the colonial cause as a general and played a part in training American troops outside Boston. In 1776, Gates was given a command in the north under the supreme command of Philip J. Schuyler, whom he replaced as commander in the Saratoga campaign (1777). His army overwhelmingly defeated the British under General Burgoyne, and the Continental Congress appointed Gates president of the board of war. His great victory was aided by the superb leadership of his generals Benedict Arnold and Daniel Morgan. At the time Gates was considered a serious rival of General Washington, and the aim of the so-called Conway Cabal was to make Gates commander in chief. Gates's part in this unsuccessful plan has never been fully determined. In June, 1780, he was ordered south to command in the Carolinas. In the Carolina campaign poorly organized supply, badly trained troops, and hasty planning paved the way for a disgraceful defeat at Camden (1780). He was plunged into deep disgrace and was superseded by Nathanael Greene. An official investigation of the affair was ordered but never took place, and Gates rejoined (1782) the army. He returned home the following year. Gates later freed his slaves and moved to New York, where he spent the rest of his life.
Gates, John Warne, 1855-1911, American financier and promoter, known as Bet-a-Million Gates, b. near Chicago. He discovered a market for wire fencing on the Western plains, began the manufacture of fencing in St. Louis, and, by a succession of consolidations and promotion schemes, organized (1898) the American Steel and Wire Company. He was a well-known figure on the grain and stock exchanges and later, interesting himself in oil, became prominent in the development of Port Arthur, Tex.
Gates, Robert Michael, 1943-, American government official, secretary of defense (2006-), b. Wichita, Kans. A circumspect and pragmatic career intelligence officer, he joined (1966) the Central Intelligence Agency as an analyst and spent more than 25 years with the CIA and the National Security Council. Deputy director of intelligence of the CIA (1982-86), he was suspected of involvement in the Iran-Contra affair, and when President Ronald Reagan nominated (1987) him as CIA director, Congress called for further investigation into the CIA's role in the matter and Gates withdrew his name from consideration. Under President George H. W. Bush, Gates was deputy national security adviser (1989-91) and CIA director (1991-93). He later was a dean (1999-2001) and university president (2002-6) at Texas A&M Univ. In 2006 Gates was appointed secretary of defense by President George W. Bush, succeeding Donald H. Rumsfeld when the latter resigned as sectarian violence in U.S.-occupied Iraq worsened. Though Gates was a member of the Iraq Study Group, which unanimously recommended (2006) changes in the admininstration's Iraq policies, President Bush opted for a short-term troop surge focused on Baghdad, an action the group had not favored. Gates was retained as secretary of defense in 2009 by President Barack Obama. Gates has written From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War (1996).
Gates, Sir Thomas, fl. 1585-1621, English colonial governor of Virginia. He was knighted for his services under the 2d earl of Essex in the successful expedition against Cádiz in 1596. Gates, who had been a lieutenant in the expedition (1585-86) under Sir Francis Drake that removed Sir Walter Raleigh's first colony from Roanoke Island, was the first named of the grantees in the original charter (1606) of the London Company, which founded Virginia. In 1609 he commanded, as deputy governor, the "third supply" to the colony, a fleet of nine ships with over 500 colonists. Two of the ships, including Gates's, the Sea Venture, were wrecked in the Bermudas (the story of this wreck apparently inspired William Shakespeare's Tempest). The survivors supported themselves for 10 months in the Bermudas before they completed two pinnaces in which they finally reached Jamestown in May, 1610. Arriving to find that only about one tenth of the colonists had survived the rigorous winter, Gates resolved to abandon the colony. As he was departing for England in June, however, he was met by the governor, Lord De la Warr, heading a new relief. At De la Warr's orders the settlers turned back to Jamestown. That autumn Gates returned to England, and in Sept., 1611, he reappeared at Jamestown with a new expedition containing 300 persons (including his wife and daughters) and many cattle and swine. Since De la Warr had returned to England in March, Gates now served as governor until Mar., 1614, when he also went back to England. He planned further expeditions to Virginia, but they never materialized. He is thought to have died in the East Indies in 1621.
Gates is a town in Monroe County, New York. The town is named after General Horatio Gates.The population was 29,275 at the 2000 census. Gates-North Gates census-designated place is located within the town's boundaries.

The Town of Gates is in the southwest part of the county.


The Town of Gates was organized in 1797 as Northampton in Ontario County. In 1808 the town was subdivided and the part still called Northampton was renamed the Town of Gates and incorporated on April 1, 1813 in honor of General Horatio Gates. Parts of the town were later detached to form the City of Rochester and the Town of Greece, both of which now border the town.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 15.3 square miles (39.7 km²), of which, 15.2 square miles (39.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.52%) is water.


The Legislative branch of the government of the Town of Gates is a four-member town council whose members are elected every four years. The members of the town council are currently Frank X. Alkofer, Chris B. Diponzio, Mark McIntee, and Elaine P. Tette. The Executive branch of the government of the Town of Gates is the Town Supervisor, who is elected every two years. The current Town Supervisor is Ralph J. Esposito, who was first elected in November 1989.


As of the census of 2000, there were 29,275 people, 11,730 households, and 8,046 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,921.8 people per square mile (742.2/km²). There were 12,049 housing units at an average density of 791.0/sq mi (305.5/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 88.62% White, 6.38% African American, 0.17% Native American, 2.36% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.09% from other races, and 1.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.92% of the population.

There were 11,730 households out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.8% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 24.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $45,709, and the median income for a family was $53,964. Males had a median income of $38,815 versus $29,024 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $21,353. About 4.3% of families and 5.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.

Communities and locations in Gates

  • Gates-North Gates – a census-defined district in the northeastern part of the town.
  • Gates Center – a hamlet in the eastern part of the town at the junction of NY 33 and Howard Road.
  • North Gates – a hamlet in the northeastern part of the town on Long Pond Road.


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