Seattle – William H. Gates II, a lawyer and philanthropist known to be the father of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has died. He was 94 years old.
Gates passed away peacefully Monday at his coastal Washington state home of Alzheimer’s disease, the family announced Tuesday.
In an obituary, the family said that the patriarch had “a deep commitment to social and economic equity,” and noted that he was in charge of the first efforts of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve the health of the global population. He also campaigned for progressive taxation, a particularly unsuccessful initiative to get a state income tax passed for the wealthy in Washington.
“My dad’s wisdom, generosity, empathy and humility had an enormous influence on people around the world,” wrote Bill Gates in a tribute.