If you’re looking for a heroic success story, look no further than these four self-made billionaires. Their stories and their character are absolutely inspirational.
The founder of Microsoft is worth over $75 billion. Gates earned his fortune in the original tech boom, creating and integrating software for the burgeoning computer market in the 90s. He stepped down as chairman of Microsoft in 2014 but still owns 2.5 percent of the company. More than 85 percent of his fortune, however, is in other investments. Today, he is changing the world as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates’ billions give him the power to have a serious impact on the world. He recently urged African leaders to invest in their youth and promised that his foundation will invest $5 billion in the continent over the next five years.
Buffet started building businesses as a child and took his first business expense tax deduction, for the use of his bicycle and watch on his paper route, as a high school freshman. He became a millionaire by building partnerships and made his first billion after taking control of Berkshire Hathaway. Buffet regularly makes lists of the world’s richest people with a personal net worth of well over $60 billion, yet the famously frugal mogul lives in the house he paid $31,500 for in 1958. Buffet is also well-known for his philanthropy and has pledged to give away 99 percent of his fortune to charity. Gates and Buffet together have created The Giving Pledge, an organization that encourages the super-wealthy to give most of their fortunes to charities.
Canadian billionaire Daryl Katz is the son of a pharmacist and made his fortune buying and managing drug store chains in Canada and the U.S., including Medicine Shoppe, Rexall, and Pharma Plus. Katz recently sold the Rexall Health chain for $3 billion. Katz is a determined man. He set his sights on owning the Edmonton Oilers back in 2007 and made several unsuccessful bids for the team before finally taking possession in 2008. He is also a generous donor in the fields of health and education. His $7 million donation to the University of Alberta was the largest donation ever to a Canadian pharmacy school, and he has also given millions to the Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.
Mark Zuckerberg regularly sits at the top of any list of young billionaires. Zuckerberg started programming in middle school, and in college, he and his Harvard roommates and friends built the social network Facebook to meet the students’ social needs, and later spread the idea to neighbouring schools and, ultimately, the world. Zuckerberg, who is worth around $50 billion, is admirable for his altruism as well as his vision and business acumen. His self-proclaimed mission is to create a more “open world” and he is constantly funding and developing projects to that end.
To conclude, these billionaires are all worthy of admiration. They have created their wealth through their own efforts and intelligence, and they are using their money to create positive change in the world.