William H. Gates II, a lawyer and philanthropist best known as the father and longtime advisor of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has died at 94.
Gates died peacefully Monday at his beach home in Washington state from Alzheimer’s disease, the family announced,
In an obituary the family credited the patriarch with a “deep commitment to social and economic equity,” noting that he was responsible for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s first efforts to improve global health as well as his advocacy for progressive taxation, especially unsuccessful efforts to pass a state income tax on the wealthy in Washington.
“My dad’s wisdom, generosity, empathy, and humility had a huge influence on people around the world,” Bill Gates wrote in a tribute.
Born Nov. 30, 1925, Gates Sr. grew up in Bremerton, Wash., where his parents owned a furniture store. He joined the Army after his freshman year at the University of Washington and was en route to Japan when it surrendered in 1945.❐