2020 in Review: The Year for Bill Gates

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JStone / Shutterstock.com

Bill Gates is finishing off 2020 as the third-richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. On Nov. 24, he lost the No. 2 spot to Elon Musk, whose net worth surged along with his Tesla stocks’ value.

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But Gates still has plenty of wealth to go around — and in 2020, he focused on using it to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s a look back at the Microsoft founder’s memorable year.

Last updated: Dec. 21, 2020

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January: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Makes Its First Contribution to the Global Fight Against the Coronavirus

Even before the first known cases of the coronavirus had made it to America, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation committed $10 million in emergency funds and corresponding technical support to help frontline responders in China and Africa boost their efforts to contain its global spread, the foundation announced in a press release.

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March: Gates Steps Down From Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway’s Boards

On March 13, Microsoft announced that Gates had stepped down from the company’s board of directors “to dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities including global health, development, education, and his increasing engagement in tackling climate change.” He continues to serve as a technology advisor.

Also in March, Berkshire Hathaway announced in an SEC filing that former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault would be replacing Gates on its board. Gates had served on Berkshire’s board since 2004, CNN reported.

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May: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Coronavirus Response Funding Reaches $300 Million

By April, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had pledged $250 million to support the development of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines; help strengthen African and South Asian health systems; and help mitigate the social and economic impacts of the virus. In May, additional funding was announced that brought the foundation’s total commitment to the global coronavirus response to more than $300 million.

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September: Report Finds Gates’ Wealth Grew by 19% Amid the Pandemic

A report released by the Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness in September found that Gates’ wealth had grown 18.7% from mid-March to mid-September. On March 18, Gates’ net worth was $98 billion; on Sept. 15, it was $116.3 billion.

And as of Dec. 17, his net worth was $130 billion, according to Bloomberg.

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