Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), previously branded as the 'William H. Gates Foundation', is a private foundation founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. Based in Seattle, Washington, it was launched in 2000 and is said to be the largest private foundation in the world[4], holding $50.7 billion in assets.[5] The primary aims of the foundation are, globally, to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and, in the U.S., to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology. The foundation is controlled by its three trustees: Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett. Other principal officers include Co-Chair William H. Gates, Sr. and Chief Executive Officer Susan Desmond-Hellmann.[6]

It had an endowment of $50.7 billion as of December 31, 2017.[3] The scale of the foundation and the way it seeks to apply business techniques to giving makes it one of the leaders in venture philanthropy,[7] though the foundation itself notes that the philanthropic role has limitations.[8] In 2007, its founders were ranked as the second most generous philanthropists in the US, and Warren Buffett the first.[9] As of May 16, 2013, Bill Gates had donated $28 billion to the foundation.[1][10] Since its founding, the foundation has endowed and supported a broad range of social, health, and education developments including the establishment of the Gates Cambridge Scholarships at Cambridge University.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation logo
PurposeHealthcare, Education, Ending poverty
HeadquartersSeattle, Washington, U.S.
Area served
MethodDonations, Grants
Key people
Endowment$50.7 billion (2017)[3]
1,541 (2017)[3]
Formerly called
William H. Gates Foundation


B&M Gates Complex
Complex as seen from the Space Needle
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation front
Front building
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation rear building
Rear building

In 1994, the foundation was formed as the William H. Gates Foundation.[11] During the foundation's following years, funding grew to $2 billion. On June 15, 2006, Gates announced his plans to transition out of a day-to-day role with Microsoft, effective July 31, 2008,[12] to allow him to devote more time to working with the foundation.

In 2005, Bill and Melinda Gates, along with the musician Bono, were named by Time as Persons of the Year 2005 for their outstanding charitable work.[13] In the case of Bill and Melinda Gates, the work referenced was that of this foundation.

In April 2010, Gates was invited to visit and speak at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he asked the students to take on the hard problems of the world in their futures. He also explained the nature and philosophy of his philanthropic endeavors.[14][15]

In 2010, the foundation's founders started the Commission on Education of Health Professionals for the 21st Century, entitled "Transforming education to strengthen health systems in an interdependent world."[16]

A 2011 survey of grantees found that many believed the foundation did not make its goals and strategies clear and sometimes did not understand those of the grantees; that the foundation's decision- and grantmaking procedures were too opaque; and that its communications could be more consistent and responsive. The foundation's response was to improve the clarity of its explanations, make "orientation calls" to grantees upon awarding grants, tell grantees who their foundation contact is, give timely feedback when they receive a grantee report, and establish a way for grantees to provide anonymous or attributed feedback to the foundation.[17] The foundation also launched a podcast series.[18]

In 2013, Hillary Clinton launched a partnership between the foundation and the Clinton Foundation to gather and study data on the progress of women and girls around the world since the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference On Women in Beijing.[19][20] This is called "No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project."[19][20]

Warren Buffett donation

On June 25, 2006, Warren Buffett (then the world's richest person, estimated worth of $62 billion as of April 16, 2008) pledged to give the foundation approximately 10 million Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares spread over multiple years through annual contributions, with the first year's donation of 500,000 shares being worth approximately $1.5 billion.[21] Buffett set conditions so that these contributions do not simply increase the foundation's endowment, but effectively work as a matching contribution, doubling the foundation's annual giving. Bloomberg News noted, "Buffett's gift came with three conditions for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Bill or Melinda Gates must be alive and active in its administration; it must continue to qualify as a charity; and each year it must give away an amount equal to the previous year's Berkshire gift, plus an additional amount equal to 5 percent of net assets. Buffett gave the foundation two years to abide by the third requirement."[22][23][24] The Gates Foundation received 5% (500,000) of the shares in July 2006 and will receive 5% of the remaining earmarked shares in the July of each following year (475,000 in 2007, 451,250 in 2008).[25][26] In July 2018, Buffet announced another donation of his company's Class B stock, this time worth $2 billion, to the Gates Foundation.[27]


Program areas and grant database

To maintain its status as a charitable foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation must donate funds equal to at least 5 percent of its assets each year.[28] As of April 2014, the foundation is organized into four program areas under chief executive officer Susan Desmond-Hellmann, who "sets strategic priorities, monitors results, and facilitates relationships with key partners":[29]

  • Global Development Division
  • Global Health Division
  • United States Division
  • Global Policy & Advocacy Division
  • Global Growth & Opportunity Division[30]

The foundation maintains an online database of grants on its website which includes for each grant the name of the grantee organization, the purpose of the grant and the amount.[31] This database is publicly available.

Open access policy

In November 2014, the Gates Foundation announced that they were adopting an open access (OA) policy for publications and data, "to enable the unrestricted access and reuse of all peer-reviewed published research funded by the foundation, including any underlying data sets".[32] This move has been widely applauded by those who are working in the area of capacity building and knowledge sharing. Its terms have been called the most stringent among similar OA policies.[33] As of January 1, 2015 their Open Access policy is effective for all new agreements.[34] In March 2017, it was confirmed that the open access policy, Gates Open Research[35] would be based on the same initiative launched in 2016 by Wellcome Trust in their Wellcome Open Research policy[36] launched in partnership with F1000 Research.[37][38]

Funds for grants in developing countries

The following table lists the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's committed funding as recorded in their International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) publications. The Gates Foundation announced in October 2013 that it would join the IATI.[39] The IATI publications only include a subset of Gates Foundation grants (mainly excluding grants to developed countries), and contain few grants before 2009 (which are excluded from the table).[40] The Gates Foundation states on the IATI Registry site that "reporting starts from 2009 and excludes grants related to our US programs and grants that if published could harm our employees, grantees, partners, or the beneficiaries of our work".[41]

Committed funding ($ millions)
DAC 5 Digit Sector[42] 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Sum
Infectious disease control 256.9 720.3 462.8 528.7 1248.3 1271.8 1097.5 5586.4
Malaria control 324.5 101.7 133.6 75.5 302.4 377.6 140.8 1456.1
STD control including HIV/AIDS 175.5 26.9 291.4 199.7 184.4 264.4 165.7 1308.0
Tuberculosis control 69.2 211.1 59.5 273.9 135.3 100.1 244.8 1094.0
Reproductive health care 173.8 66.8 77.4 165.2 84.9 207.6 130.0 905.8
Agricultural research 84.7 27.8 196.2 192.8 207.1 14.7 83.9 807.2
Family planning 104.5 21.2 21.4 49.3 165.0 145.8 181.7 688.9
Health policy and administrative management 119.3 14.3 145.7 75.5 61.1 113.4 130.3 659.5
Agricultural development 5.2 30.0 0.0 35.0 0.0 325.1 86.1 481.3
Agricultural policy and administrative management 72.9 30.0 77.5 77.1 86.2 19.7 96.9 460.3
Promotion of development awareness 47.2 45.0 35.5 41.7 124.4 61.7 80.7 436.2
Basic health care 22.3 23.9 43.7 73.2 1.7 45.6 206.3 416.7
Basic nutrition 19.2 15.7 40.9 51.5 63.7 55.9 148.2 395.2
Basic sanitation 10.1 34.9 82.9 74.9 59.1 48.7 64.9 375.5
Financial policy and administrative management 29.0 18.4 9.8 8.9 70.1 32.9 53.4 222.5
Other 487.5 273.8 2208.9 260.2 332.1 433.3 2195.7 6191.5
Total 2001.9 1662.0 3887.2 2183.0 3125.9 3518.4 5106.6 21485.1

The following table lists the top receiving organizations to which the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed funding, between 2009 and 2015. The table again only includes grants recorded in the Gates Foundation's IATI publications.[40]

Organization Amount ($ millions)
GAVI Alliance 3,152.8
World Health Organization 1,535.1
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria 777.6
PATH 635.2
United States Fund for UNICEF 461.1
The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International 400.1
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development 340.0
Global Alliance for TB Drug Development 338.4
Medicines for Malaria Venture 334.1
PATH Vaccine Solutions 333.4
UNICEF Headquarters 277.6
Johns Hopkins University 265.4
Aeras 227.6
Clinton Health Access Initiative Inc 199.5
International Development Association 174.7
CARE 166.2
World Health Organization Nigeria Country Office 166.1
Agence française de développement 165.0
Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo 153.1
Cornell University 146.7
Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa 146.4
United Nations Foundation 143.0
University of Washington Foundation 138.2
Foundation for the National Institutes of Health 136.2
Emory University 123.2
University of California San Francisco 123.1
Population Services International 122.5
University of Oxford 117.8
International Food Policy Research Institute 110.7
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture 104.8


The foundation explains on its website that its trustees divided the organization into two entities: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust. The foundation section, based in Seattle, US, "focuses on improving health and alleviating extreme poverty", and its trustees are Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. The trust section manages "the investment assets and transfer proceeds to the foundation as necessary to achieve the foundation's charitable goals"—it holds the assets of Bill and Melinda Gates, who are the sole trustees, and receives contributions from Buffett.[43]

The foundation posts its audited financial statements and 990-PF forms on the "Financials" section of its website as they become available. At the end of 2012, the foundation registered a cash sum of $4,998,000, down from $10,810,000 at the end of 2011. Unrestricted net assets at the end of 2012 were worth $31,950,613,000, while total assets were worth $37,176,777,000.[44]

Trust investments

As of 30 September 2018, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the trust owned the following investments:[45]

Company # Shares Value ($ thousands)
Arcos Dorados Holdings 3,060,500 $19,128
AutoNation 1,898,717 $78,892
Berkshire Hathaway Class B 62,078,974 $13,291,729
Canadian National Railway 17,126,874 $1,537,993
Caterpillar Inc. 11,260,857 $1,717,168
FEMSA 6,214,719 $380,589
Crown Castle 5,332,900 $593,712
Ecolab 4,366,426 $684,568
FedEx 3,024,999 $728,390
Televisa 16,879,104 $299,435
Liberty Global Class A 2,119,515 $61,318
Liberty Global Class C 3,639,349 $102,484
Liberty Global Latin America Class A 370,424 $7,720
Liberty Global Latin America Class C 636,044 $13,122
Microsoft 24,000,000 $2,744,880
United Parcel Service 4,525,329 $528,332
Walmart 11,603,000 $1,089,638
Walgreens Boots Alliance 3,475,398 $253,357
Waste Management 18,633,672 $1,683,739

Global development division

Christopher Elias leads the foundation's efforts to combat extreme poverty through grants as president of the Global Development Program.[46]

In March 2006, the foundation announced a $5 million grant for the International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights organization based in Washington, D.C., US to work in the area of sex trafficking. The official announcement explained that the grant would allow the IJM to "create a replicable model for combating sex trafficking and slavery" that would involve the opening of an office in a region with high rates of sex trafficking, following research. The office was opened for three years for the following purposes: "conducting undercover investigations, training law enforcement, rescuing victims, ensuring appropriate aftercare, and seeking perpetrator accountability".[47]

The IJM used the grant money to found "Project Lantern" and established an office in the Philippines city of Cebu.[48][49] In 2010, the results of the project were published, in which the IJM stated that Project Lantern had led to "an increase in law enforcement activity in sex trafficking cases, an increase in commitment to resolving sex trafficking cases among law enforcement officers trained through the project, and an increase in services – like shelter, counseling and career training – provided to trafficking survivors". At the time that the results were released, the IJM was exploring opportunities to replicate the model in other regions.[50]

Gates Cambridge Scholarships

In October 2000, William Gates established the Gates Cambridge Scholarships which allow students and scholars from the U.S. and around the world to study at Cambridge University, one of the top universities in the world. The Gates Cambridge Scholarship has often been compared to the Rhodes Scholarship, given its similarly international scope and substantial endowment. In 2000, the Gates Foundation endowed the scholarship trust with $210 million to help outstanding graduate students outside of the United Kingdom study at the University of Cambridge.[51] The Gates Foundation has continued to contribute funds to expand the scholarship, making it one of the largest and best endowed scholarships in the world. The Gates Cambridge Scholarship accepts less than 0.3% of applicants and remains extremely competitive. Each year, approximately 100 new graduate students from around the world receive funding to study at Cambridge University.

Financial assistance

  • Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI): A $35 million grant for the AFI supports a coalition of countries from the developing world to create savings accounts, insurance, and other financial services that are made available to people living on less than $2 per day.[52]
  • Financial Access Initiative: A $5 million grant allows Financial Access Initiative to conduct field research and answer important questions about microfinance and financial access in impoverished countries around the world.[53]
  • Pro Mujer: A five-year $3.1 million grant to Pro Mujer—a microfinance network in Latin America combining financial services with healthcare for the poorest women entrepreneurs—will be used to research new opportunities for the poorest segment of the Latin American microfinance market.[54]
  • Grameen Foundation: A $1.5 million grant allows Grameen Foundation to approve more microloans that support Grameen's goal of helping five million additional families, and successfully freeing 50 percent of those families from poverty within five years.[55]

Agricultural Development

Water, sanitation and hygiene

Sanitation Value Chain
The "sanitation value chain" used by the Gates Foundation to illustrate their approach to sanitation, showing collection, transport, treatment and reuse.[58]
The Gates Foundation created this video to advocate for increased innovation for toilets and everything they are connected to
The vision of a toilet that is small - and pleasant - enough to fit inside someone's home (prototype but not fully functional) (13359389583)
Example for technology innovation: The off-grid Nano Membrane Toilet of Cranfield University - prototype on display at Reinvent the Toilet Fair in Delhi, India

The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was launched in mid-2005 as a "Learning Initiative", and became a full-fledged program under the Global Development Division in early 2010.[58] The foundation has since 2005 undertaken a wide range of efforts in the WASH sector involving research, experimentation, reflection, advocacy, and field implementation. In 2009, the foundation decided to refocus its WASH effort mainly on sustainable sanitation services for the poor, using non-piped sanitation services (i.e. without the use of sewers),[58] and less on water supply. This was because the sanitation sector was generally receiving less attention from other donors and from governments, and because the foundation believed it had the potential to make a real difference through strategic investments.

In mid 2011, the foundation announced in its new "Water, Sanitation, Hygiene Strategy Overview" that its funding now focuses primarily on sanitation, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, because access to improved sanitation is lowest in those regions.[59] Their grant-making focus has been since 2011 on sanitation science and technology ("transformative technologies"), delivery models at scale, urban sanitation markets, building demand for sanitation, measurement and evaluation as well as policy, advocacy and communications.[58][59]

In mid 2011, the foundation stated that they had committed more than $265 million to the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector over the past five years, i.e. since about 2006.[59] For the time period of about 2008 to mid 2015, all grants awarded to water, sanitation and hygiene projects totaled a value of around $650 million, according to the publicly available grant database.[31]

Earth auger toilet with squatting plate (13358958903)
Example of low-tech toilet development being funded: A urine-diverting dry toilet called Earth Auger toilet from Ecuador/USA

Improved sanitation in the developing world is a global need, but a neglected priority, as shown by the data collected by the Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) of UNICEF and WHO. This program is tasked to monitor progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) relating to drinking water and sanitation.[60] About one billion people have no sanitation facility whatsoever and continue to defecate in gutters, behind bushes or in open water bodies, with no dignity or privacy. This is called open defecation and it poses significant health risks.[61] India is the country with the highest number of people practicing open defecation: around 600 million people.[62] The foundation has been funding many sanitation research and demonstration projects in India since about 2011.[63]

Reinvent the Toilet Challenge

In 2011, the foundation launched a program called "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge" with the aim to promote the development of innovations in toilet design to benefit the 2.5 billion people that do not have access to safe and effective sanitation.[64][65] This program has generated significant interest of the mainstream media.[66][67] It was complemented by a program called "Grand Challenges Explorations" (2011 to 2013 with some follow-up grants reaching until 2015) which involved grants of $100,000 each in the first round.[65] Both funding schemes explicitly excluded project ideas that relied on centralized sewerage systems or are not compatible with development country contexts.[68]

Microbial fuel cell stack that converts urine into electricity (13359544514)
Microbial fuel cell stack that converts urine into electricity (research by University of the West of England, UK)

Since the launch of the "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge", more than a dozen research teams, mainly at universities in the U.S., Europe, India, China and South Africa, have received grants to develop innovative on-site and off-site waste treatment solutions for the urban poor. The grants were in the order of $400,000 for their first phase, followed by typically $1 million – 3 million for their second phase; many of them investigated resource recovery or processing technologies for excreta or fecal sludge.[69]

The "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge" is focused on "reinventing the flush toilet". The aim was to create a toilet that not only removes pathogens from human excreta, but also recovers resources such as energy, clean water, and nutrients (a concept also known as reuse of excreta). It should operate "off-the-grid" without connections to water, sewer, or electrical networks. Finally, it should costs less than 5 cents per user per day.[68][70]

High-tech toilets for tackling the growing public health problem of human waste are gaining increasing attention, but this focus on a "technology fix" has also been criticized by many in the sector.[66] However, low-tech solutions may be more practical in poor countries, and research is also funded by the foundation for such toilets.[71][70]

The Reinvent the Toilet Challenge is a long-term research and development effort to develop a hygienic, stand-alone toilet. This challenge is being complemented by another investment program to develop new technologies for improved pit latrine emptying (called by the foundation the "Omni-Ingestor"[72]) and fecal sludge processing (called "Omni-Processor"). The aim of the "Omni Processor" is to convert excreta (for example fecal sludge) into beneficial products such as energy and soil nutrients with the potential to develop local business and revenue.[73]

Examples of transformative technologies research

  • About 200 sanitation projects in many different countries and at various scales - some with a technology focus, some with a focus on market development or policy and advocacy, have received funding by the foundation since 2008.[74]
  • The University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa Gates Foundation was awarded $1.6 million in 2014 to act as a hub for sanitation researchers and product developers.[75][76]
  • One example of an Omni-Processor is a combustion-based system designed to turn fecal sludge into energy and drinking water. The development of this particular prototype by U.S.-based company Janicki Bioenergy attracted media attention for the sanitation crisis and the work of the foundation after Bill Gates drank water produced from this process.[77]
  • Examples for the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge include: Scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder were giving funding of $1.8 million to develop a prototype toilet that uses solar heat to treat the fecal matter and produce biochar.[78][79] Funding has been provided to RTI International since 2012 to develop a toilet based on electrochemical disinfection and solid waste combustion.[80][81]

Other Global Initiatives

Some examples include:

Global health division

Since 2011, the president of the Global Health Program is Trevor Mundel.[89]

  • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: The foundation has donated more than $6.6 billion for global health programs, including over $1.3 billion donated as of 2012 on malaria alone, greatly increasing the dollars spent per year on malaria research.[90][91] Before the Gates efforts on malaria, malaria drugmakers had largely given up on producing drugs to fight the disease, and the foundation is the world's largest donor to research on diseases of the poor.[91] With the help of Gates-funded vaccination drives, deaths from measles in Africa have dropped by 90 percent since 2000.[92]

The foundation has donated billions of dollars to help sufferers of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, protecting millions of children from death at the hands of preventable diseases.[92] However, a 2007 investigation by The Los Angeles Times[92] claimed there are three major unintended consequences with the foundation's allocation of aid. First, sub-Saharan Africa already suffered from a shortage of primary doctors before the arrival of the Gates Foundation, but "by pouring most contributions into the fight against such high-profile killers as AIDS, Gates grantees have increased the demand for specially trained, higher-paid clinicians, diverting staff from basic care" in sub-Saharan Africa. This "brain drain" adds to the existing doctor shortage and pulls away additional trained staff from children and those suffering from other common killers. Second, "the focus on a few diseases has shortchanged basic needs such as nutrition and transportation".[92] Third, "Gates-funded vaccination programs have instructed caregivers to ignore – even discourage patients from discussing – ailments that the vaccinations cannot prevent".[92]

In response, the Gates Foundation has said that African governments need to spend more of their budgets on public health than on wars, that the foundation has donated at least $70 million to help improve nutrition and agriculture in Africa, in addition to its disease-related initiatives and that it is studying ways to improve the delivery of health care in Africa.[92]

Both insiders and external critics have suggested that there is too much deference to Bill Gates's personal views within the Gates Foundation, insufficient internal debate, and pervasive "group think."[91][93] Critics also complain that Gates Foundation grants are often awarded based on social connections and ideological allegiances rather than based on formal external review processes or technical competence.[93]

Critics have suggested that Gates' approach to Global Health and Agriculture favors the interests of large pharmaceutical and agribusiness companies (in which Gates invests) over the interests of the people of developing countries.[94][95][96][97]

The Global Health Program's other significant grants include:

  • Polio eradication: In 2006, the foundation provided $86 million toward efforts attempting to eradicate poliomyelitis (polio).[98]
  • The GAVI Alliance: The foundation gave the GAVI Alliance (formerly the "Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization") a donation of $750 million on January 25, 2005.[99][100]
  • Children's Vaccine Program: The Children's Vaccine Program, run by the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), received a donation of $27 million to help vaccinate against Japanese encephalitis on December 9, 2003.[101]
  • University of Washington Department of Global Health: The foundation provided approximately $30 million for the foundation of the new Department of Global Health at the University of Washington in Seattle, US. The donation promoted three of the foundation's target areas: education, Pacific Northwest and global health.
  • HIV Research: The foundation donated a total of $287 million to various HIV/AIDS researchers. The money was split between 16 different research teams across the world, on the condition that the findings are shared amongst the teams.[102]
  • Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation: The foundation gave the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation more than $280 million to develop and license an improved vaccine against tuberculosis (TB) for use in high-burden countries (HBCs).[103][104]
  • Cheaper high-tech tuberculosis (TB) test: In August 2012, the foundation, in partnership with PEPFAR (United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and UNITAID (an international drug purchasing facility hosted by WHO), announced they had finalized an agreement to reduce the cost of a commercial TB test (Cepheid's Xpert MTB/RIF run on the GeneXpert platform), from $16.86 to $9.98.[105] This test can take the place of smear microscopy, a technique first developed in the 1880s by Robert Koch. Smear microscopy often does not show TB infection in persons who are also co-infected with HIV, whereas the GeneXpert system can show TB in the co-infected patient. In addition, the system can show whether the particular TB strain is resistant to the bactericidal antibiotic rifampicin, a widely accepted indicator of the presence of multidrug resistant tuberculosis.[106][107]
  • Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) research: The foundation awarded the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Kuvin Center for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases a $5 million grant in 2009 for research into visceral leishmaniasis (VL), an emerging parasitic disease in Ethiopia, Africa, where it is frequently associated with HIV/AIDS, and is a leading cause of adult illness and death. The project, a collaborative effort with Addis Ababa University, will gather data for analysis—to identify the weak links in the transmission cycle—and devise methods for control of the disease.[108] In 2005 the foundation provided a $30 million grant to The Institute for OneWorld Health to support the nonprofit pharmaceutical company's VL work in the rural communities of India, Bangladesh and Nepal.[109] By September 2006, the company had received approval from the Indian body Drug-Controller General of India (DCGI) for the Paromomycin Intramuscular (IM) Injection, a drug that provides an effective cure for VL following a 21-day course.[110] In 2010 Raj Shankar Ghosh, the Regional Director for the South Asia Institute for OneWorld Health, explained that the foundation funded "the majority of our work" in the development of the drug.[111]
  • Next-Generation Condom: The foundation gave $100,000 to 11 applicants in November 2013 to develop an improved condom; that is, one that "significantly preserves or enhances pleasure, in order to improve uptake and regular use", according to the Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges in Global Health website.[112] Further grants of up to $1 million will be given to projects that are successful.[113]
  • Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs): Alongside WHO, the governments of the United States, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates, and the World Bank, the foundation endorsed the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases, "to eradicate, eliminate and intensify control of 17 selected diseases by 2015 and 2020", at a meeting on January 30, 2012, held at the Royal College of Physicians in London, UK.[114] Gates was the principal organizer responsible for bringing together the heads of 13 of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies and the foundation's monetary commitment to the Declaration was $363 million over five years.[115] On April 3, 2014, the two-year anniversary of the Declaration, Gates attended a meeting in Paris, France, at which participants reviewed the progress that had been made against 10 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The foundation committed a further $50 million, together with $50 million from the Children's Investment Fund Foundation and $120 million from the World Bank.[116]
  • Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI): A global group tasked with more quickly developing vaccines against infectious disease threats worldwide was launched on 8 January 2017 by a coalition of governments and nonprofit groups including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, funded with an initial investment of $460 million from Germany, Japan, Norway, the Wellcome Trust and the Gates foundation, aims to develop vaccines against known infectious disease threats that could be deployed quickly to contain outbreaks before they become global health emergencies, the group said in a statement at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.[117][118]

United States division

Under President Allan Golston, the United States Program has made grants such as the following:

Donation to Planned Parenthood

Up to 2013, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided $71 million to Planned Parenthood and affiliated organizations. In 2014, Melinda Gates has stated that the foundation "has decided not to fund abortion", focusing instead on family planning and contraception in order to avoid conflation of abortion and family planning.[119] In response to questions about this decision, Gates stated in a June 2014 blog post that "[she], like everyone else, struggle[s] with the issue" and that "the emotional and personal debate about abortion is threatening to get in the way of the lifesaving consensus regarding basic family planning".[119] Since this time, their endeavors have shifted to a more global perspective, focusing on voluntary family planning and maternal and newborn health.[120][121]


In 1997, the charity introduced a U.S. Libraries initiative with a goal of "ensuring that if you can get to a public library, you can reach the internet". Only 35% of the world's population has access to the Internet.[122] The foundation has given grants, installed computers and software, and provided training and technical support in partnership with public libraries nationwide in an effort to increase access and knowledge.[122] Helping provide access and training for these resources, this foundation helps move public libraries into the digital age.[122]

Most recently, the foundation gave a $12.2 million grant to the Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET) to assist libraries in Louisiana and Mississippi on the Gulf Coast, many of which were damaged or destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.


A key aspect of the Gates Foundation's U.S. efforts involves an overhaul of the country's education policies at both the K-12 and college levels, including support for teacher evaluations and charter schools and opposition to seniority-based layoffs and other aspects of the education system that are typically backed by teachers' unions.[123] It spent $373 million on education in 2009.[123] It has also donated to the two largest national teachers' unions.[123] The foundation was the biggest early backer of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.[123] In October 2017 it was announced that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would spend more than $1.7 billion over five years to pay for new initiatives in public education.[124]

One of the foundation's goals is to lower poverty by increasing the number of college graduates in the United States, and the organization has funded "Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery" grants to think tanks and advocacy organizations to produce white papers on ideas for changing the current system of federal financial aid for college students, with a goal of increasing graduation rates.[125][126] One of the ways the foundation has sought to increase the number of college graduates is to get them through college faster, but that idea has received some pushback from organizations of universities and colleges.[127]

As part of its education-related initiatives, the foundation has funded journalists, think tanks, lobbying organizations and governments. Millions of dollars of grants to news organizations have funded reporting on education and higher education, including more than $1.4 million to the Education Writers Association to fund training for journalists who cover education.[128] While some critics have feared the foundation for directing the conversation on education or pushing its point of view through news coverage, the foundation has said it lists all its grants publicly and does not enforce any rules for content among its grantees, who have editorial independence.[123][128][129] Union activists in Chicago have accused Gates Foundation grantee Teach Plus, which was founded by new teachers and advocates against seniority-based layoffs, of "astroturfing".[123]

The K-12 and higher education reform programs of the Gates Foundation have been criticized by some education professionals, parents, and researchers because they have driven the conversation on education reform to such an extent that they may marginalize researchers who do not support Gates' predetermined policy preferences.[125] Several Gates-backed policies such as small schools, charter schools, and increasing class sizes have been expensive and disruptive, but some studies indicate they have not improved educational outcomes and may have caused harm.[130][131]

Examples of some of the K-12 reforms advocated by the foundation include closing ineffective neighborhood schools in favor of privately run charter schools; extensively using standardized test scores to evaluate the progress of students, teachers, and schools; and merit pay for teachers based on student test scores. Critics also believe that the Gates Foundation exerts too much influence over public education policy without being accountable to voters or taxpayers. [130][132][133]

Some of the foundation's educational initiatives have included:

  • Gates Cambridge Scholarships: In 2000, the Gates Foundation donated $210 million to help outstanding graduate students from the U.S. and around the world to study at the prestigious University of Cambridge. The Gates Cambridge Scholarship has often been compared to the Rhodes Scholarship given its international scope and substantial endowment, The scholar remains extremely competitive with just 0.3% of applicants being selected. Each year, approximately 100 new graduate students from around the world receive funding to attend Cambridge University. Several buildings at the University of Cambridge also bear the name of William and Melinda Gates after sizable contributions to their construction.[134]
  • Cornell University: Faculty of Computing and Information Science received $25 million from the foundation for a new Information Science building, which will be named the "Bill and Melinda Gates Hall". The total cost of the building is expected to be $60 million. Construction began in March 2012, and officially opened in January 2014.[135]
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Part of the Ray and Maria Stata Center is known as the "Gates Tower" in recognition of partial funding of the building.
  • Carnegie Mellon University: The foundation gave $20 million to the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science for a new Computer Science building called the "Gates Center for Computer Science".[136] It officially opened on September 22, 2009.[137]
  • Smaller schools: The Gates Foundation claims one in five students is unable to read and grasp the contents of what they read, and African American and Latino students are graduating high school with the skills of a middle school student.[138] Gates Foundation has invested more than $250 million in grants to create new small schools, reduce student-to-teacher ratios, and to divide up large high schools through the schools-within-a-school model.[138]
  • D.C. Achievers Scholarships: The Gates Foundation announced March 22, 2007 a $122 million initiative to send hundreds of the District of Columbia's poorest students to college.[139]
  • Gates Millennium Scholars: Administered by the United Negro College Fund, the foundation donated $1.5 billion for scholarships to high achieving minority students.[140]
  • NewSchools Venture Fund: The foundation contributed $30 million to help NewSchools to manage more charter schools, which aim to prepare students in historically underserved areas for college and careers.
  • Strong American Schools: On April 25, 2007, the Gates Foundation joined forces with the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation pledging a joint $60 million to create Strong American Schools, a nonprofit project responsible for running ED in 08, an initiative and information campaign aimed at encouraging 2008 presidential contenders to include education in their campaign policies.[141]
  • Teaching Channel: The Gates Foundation announced in September 2011 a $3.5 million initiative to launch a multi-platform service delivering professional development videos for teachers over the Internet, public television, cable and other digital outlets.[142] To date, over 500,000 teachers and educators have joined the community to share ideas, lesson plans and teaching methods.[143]
  • The Texas High School Project: The project was set out to increase and improve high school graduation rates across Texas. The foundation committed $84.6 million to the project beginning in 2003. The project focuses its efforts on high-need schools and districts statewide, with an emphasis on urban areas and the Texas-Mexico border.[144]
  • University Scholars Program: Donated $20 million in 1998 to endow a scholarship program at Melinda Gates' alma mater, Duke University.[145] The program provides full scholarships to about 10 members of each undergraduate class and one member in each class in each of the professional schools (schools of medicine, business, law, divinity, environment, nursing, and public policy), as well as to students in the Graduate School pursuing doctoral degrees in any discipline. Graduate and professional school scholars serve as mentors to the undergraduate scholars, who are chosen on the basis of financial need and potential for interdisciplinary academic interests. Scholars are chosen each spring from new applicants to Duke University's undergraduate, graduate, and professional school programs. The program features seminars to bring these scholars together for interdisciplinary discussions and an annual spring symposium organized by the scholars.
  • Washington State Achievers Scholarship: The Washington State Achievers program encourages schools to create cultures of high academic achievement while providing scholarship support to select college-bound students.
  • William H. Gates Public Service Law Program: This program awards five full scholarships annually to the University of Washington School of Law. Scholars commit to working in relatively low-paying public service legal positions for at least the first five years following graduation.[146]
  • University of Texas at Austin: $30 million challenge grant to build the Bill & Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex.[147]
  • STAND UP: a national campaign that seeks to positively impact the current crisis within the United States public education system by calling upon community leaders, parents, students and citizens to encourage change and STAND UP for better schools and the future of America's children. STAND UP was co-founded by the Eli Broad Foundation, and was launched in April 2006 on The Oprah Winfrey Show in a two-part feature.
  • Every Student Succeeds Act: donated about $44 million to help with the 2015 federal education law.[148]

Pacific Northwest

  • Discovery Institute: Donated $1 million in 2000 to the Discovery Institute and pledged $9.35 million over 10 years in 2003, including $50,000 of Bruce Chapman's $141,000 annual salary. According to a Gates Foundation grant maker, this grant is "exclusive to the Cascadia project" on regional transportation, and it may not be used for the Institute's other activities, including promotion of intelligent design.[149]
  • Rainier Scholars: Donated $1 million.
  • Computer History Museum: Donated $15 million to the museum in October 2005.[150]


Critics say the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has overlooked the links between poverty and poor academic achievement, and has unfairly demonized teachers for poor achievement by underprivileged students. They contend that the Gates Foundation should be embracing anti-poverty and living wage policies rather than pursuing untested and empirically unsupported education reforms.[151]

Critics say that Gates-backed reforms such as increasing the use of technology in education may financially benefit Microsoft and the Gates family.[125][152][153][154][155]

The foundation trust invests undistributed assets, with the exclusive goal of maximizing the return on investment. As a result, its investments include companies that have been criticized for worsening poverty in the same developing countries where the foundation is attempting to relieve poverty.[75][156] These include companies that pollute heavily and pharmaceutical companies that do not sell into the developing world.[157] In response to press criticism, the foundation announced in 2007 a review of its investments to assess social responsibility.[158] It subsequently cancelled the review and stood by its policy of investing for maximum return, while using voting rights to influence company practices.[159][160]

Critics have called on the Gates Foundation to end its investments in the GEO Group, the second largest private prison corporation in the United States. A large part of the prison's work involves incarcerating and detaining migrants that have been detained by the Obama administration and now the Trump administration.[161][162][163] In spring 2014 the Gates Foundation acknowledged its $2.2 million investment in the prison corporation.[164] It has more recently rebuffed critics' request that it sever investment ties with the prison corporation. It has refused to comment on whether it is continuing its investments.[165][161]


In October 2006, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was split into two entities: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, which manages the endowment assets and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which "... conducts all operations and grantmaking work, and it is the entity from which all grants are made".[166][167] Also announced was the decision to "... spend all of [the Trust's] resources within 20[168] years after Bill's and Melinda's deaths".[169][170][171][172] This would close the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust and effectively end the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In the same announcement it was reiterated that Warren Buffett "... has stipulated that the proceeds from the Berkshire Hathaway shares he still owns at death are to be used for philanthropic purposes within 10 years after his estate has been settled".[169]

The plan to close the Foundation Trust is in contrast to most large charitable foundations that have no set closure date. This is intended to lower administrative costs over the years of the Foundation Trust's life and ensure that the Foundation Trust not fall into a situation where the vast majority of its expenditures are on administrative costs, including salaries, with only token amounts contributed to charitable causes.[170]


See also

Notes and references

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  158. ^ Gates Foundation to review investments Archived May 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, The Seattle Times, January 10, 2007
  159. ^ [Gates Foundation to maintain its investment plan], The Austin Statesman, January 14, 2007
  160. ^ "How the Gates Foundation's Investments Are Undermining Its Own Good Works".
  161. ^ a b Joe Watson, "Demonstrators Protest Gates Foundation's $2.2 Million Investment in GEO Group," "Prison Legal News," July 2016
  162. ^ 2012 tax return uploaded to this web page:
  163. ^ Madison Pauly, "A Brief History of America's Private Prison Industry," "Mother Jones," July/August 2016
  164. ^ Lael Henterly, "Gates Foundation resists pressure to pull private prison investment," "The Seattle Globalist," May 8, 2014
  165. ^ Alex Park, "Is the Gates Foundation Still Investing in Private Prisons?," "Mother Jones, December 8, 2014
  166. ^ Gates Foundation Announces That It Doesn't Plan to Operate Forever Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  167. ^ About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust Archived August 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  168. ^ "Interview with Bill Gates September 21, 2013 (Video 33:52)". YouTube.
  169. ^ a b Announcements - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Archived August 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  170. ^ a b "The Chronicle, 11/29/2006: Gates Foundation Announces That It Doesn't Plan to Operate Forever". The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
  171. ^ "Gates foundation to spend all assets within 50 years of trustees' deaths".
  172. ^ Beatty, Sally (1 December 2006). "Gates Foundation Sets Its Lifespan". WSJ.
  173. ^ Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Archived December 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  174. ^ "Gates Foundation to get Indira Gandhi peace prize".
  175. ^ PTI. "Advani, Bachchan, Dilip Kumar get Padma Vibhushan". The Hindu.
  176. ^ "The Presidential Medal of Freedom". The White House. Retrieved 2016-11-23.

External links

Coordinates: 47°37′25″N 122°20′44″W / 47.62361°N 122.34556°W

Bill Belichick

William Stephen Belichick ( or (; born April 16, 1952) is an American football coach who serves as the head coach of the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). His extensive authority over the Patriots' football operations effectively make him the general manager of the team as well. He holds numerous coaching records, including winning a record six Super Bowls as a head coach of the New England Patriots, and two more as defensive coordinator for the New York Giants. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest coaches in NFL history by current and former players, his peers, and the press.Belichick began his coaching career in 1975 and became the defensive coordinator for New York Giants head coach Bill Parcells by 1985. Parcells and Belichick won two Super Bowls together before Belichick left to become the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 1991. He remained in Cleveland for five seasons but was fired following the team's 1995 season. He then rejoined Parcells, first in New England, where the team lost Super Bowl XXXI, and later with the New York Jets.

After being named head coach of the Jets, Belichick resigned after only one day on the job to accept the head coaching job for the New England Patriots on January 27, 2000. Since then, he has led the Patriots to 16 AFC East division titles, 13 appearances in the AFC Championship Game, and nine Super Bowl appearances, with a record six wins.

Belichick is the NFL's longest-tenured active head coach, as well as the first all-time in playoff coaching wins with 31 and third in regular season coaching wins in the NFL with 261. He is one of only three head coaches who have won six NFL titles. He was named the AP NFL Coach of the Year for the 2003, 2007, and 2010 seasons.

Bill Clinton

William Jefferson Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III; August 19, 1946) is an American politician who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Prior to the presidency, he was the governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981, and again from 1983 to 1992, and the attorney general of Arkansas from 1977 to 1979. A member of the Democratic Party, Clinton was ideologically a New Democrat and many of his policies reflected a centrist "Third Way" political philosophy.

Clinton was born and raised in Arkansas and attended Georgetown University, University College, Oxford, and Yale Law School. He met Hillary Rodham at Yale and married her in 1975. After graduating, Clinton returned to Arkansas and won election as the Attorney General of Arkansas, serving from 1977 to 1979. As Governor of Arkansas, he overhauled the state's education system and served as chairman of the National Governors Association. Clinton was elected president in 1992, defeating incumbent Republican opponent George H. W. Bush. At age 46, he became the third-youngest president and the first from the Baby Boomer generation.

Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history and signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement, but failed to pass his plan for national health care reform. In the 1994 elections, the Republican Party won unified control of the Congress for the first time in 40 years. In 1996, Clinton became the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to be elected to a second full term. He passed welfare reform and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, as well as financial deregulation measures, including the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. In 1998, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives for perjury and obstruction of justice following allegations that he committed perjury and obstructed justice to conceal an affair he had with Monica Lewinsky, a 22-year old White House intern. Clinton was acquitted by the Senate in 1999 and completed his term in office. He is only the second U.S. president to ever be impeached, the first being Andrew Johnson. During the last three years of Clinton's presidency, the Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus, the first such surplus since 1969. In foreign policy, Clinton ordered U.S. military intervention in the Bosnian and Kosovo wars, signed the Iraq Liberation Act in opposition to Saddam Hussein, participated in the 2000 Camp David Summit to advance the Israeli–Palestinian peace process, and assisted the Northern Ireland peace process.

Clinton left office with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U.S. president since World War II, and has continually scored high in the historical rankings of U.S. presidents, consistently placing in the top third. Since leaving office, he has been involved in public speaking and humanitarian work. He created the William J. Clinton Foundation to address international causes such as the prevention of AIDS and global warming. He has remained active in politics by campaigning for Democratic candidates, including the presidential campaigns of his wife and Barack Obama. In 2004, Clinton published his autobiography, My Life. In 2009, he was named the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti and after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, he teamed with George W. Bush to form the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. In addition, he secured the release of two American journalists imprisoned by North Korea, visiting the capital Pyongyang and negotiating their release with Kim Jong-il.

Bill Cosby

William Henry Cosby Jr. (; born July 12, 1937) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, musician, and author who was active for over five decades before being convicted of a number of sex offenses in 2018.

Cosby began his career as a stand-up comic at the hungry i in San Francisco during the 1960s. He then landed a starring role in the television show I Spy, followed by his own sitcom The Bill Cosby Show, which ran for two seasons from 1969 to 1971. In 1972, using the Fat Albert character developed during his stand-up routines, Cosby created, produced, and hosted the animated comedy television series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids which ran until 1985, centering on a group of young friends growing up in an urban area. Throughout the 1970s, Cosby starred in about a half-dozen films, and occasionally returned to film later in his career. He attended Temple University in the 1960s and received his bachelor's degree in 1971. In 1973, he received a master's degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and he earned his Doctor of Education degree in 1976, also from UMass. His dissertation discussed the use of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids as a teaching tool in elementary schools.

Beginning in the 1980s, Cosby produced and starred in the television sitcom The Cosby Show, which aired from 1984 to 1992 and was rated as the number one show in America for 1985 through 1989. The sitcom highlighted the experiences and growth of an affluent African-American family. Cosby produced the spin-off sitcom A Different World, which aired from 1987 to 1993. He also starred in The Cosby Mysteries from 1994 to 1995 and in the sitcom Cosby from 1996 to 2000, and hosted Kids Say the Darndest Things from 1998 to 2000.

Cosby's reputation was damaged by numerous sexual assault accusations, the earliest of which date back decades. In the mid-2010s, more than 60 women accused him of rape, drug-facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, child sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct, allegations he denies, for which the statute of limitations had by then expired in nearly all cases. After a year-long trial, Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault and sentenced to three to ten years in prison in September 2018.

Bill Gates

William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, investor, author, philanthropist, and humanitarian. He is best known as the principal founder of Microsoft Corporation. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, CEO and chief software architect, while also being the largest individual shareholder until May 2014.

In 1975, Gates and Paul Allen launched Microsoft, which became the world's largest PC software company. Gates led the company as chief executive officer until stepping down in January 2000, but he remained as chairman and created the position of chief software architect for himself. In June 2006, Gates announced that he would be transitioning from full-time work at Microsoft to part-time work and full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which was established in 2000. He gradually transferred his duties to Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie. He stepped down as chairman of Microsoft in February 2014 and assumed a new post as technology adviser to support the newly appointed CEO Satya Nadella.Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. He has been criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive. This opinion has been upheld by numerous court rulings.Since 1987, Gates has been included in the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people, an index of the wealthiest documented individuals, excluding and ranking against those with wealth that is not able to be completely ascertained. From 1995 to 2017, he held the Forbes title of the richest person in the world all but four of those years, and held it consistently from March 2014 to July 2017, with an estimated net worth of US$89.9 billion as of October 2017. However, on July 27, 2017, and since October 27, 2017, he has been surpassed by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who had an estimated net worth of US$90.6 billion at the time. As of August 6, 2018, Gates had a net worth of $95.4 billion, making him the second-richest person in the world, behind Bezos.

Later in his career and since leaving Microsoft, Gates pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors. He donated large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2009, Gates and Warren Buffett founded The Giving Pledge, whereby they and other billionaires pledge to give at least half of their wealth to philanthropy. The foundation works to save lives and improve global health, and is working with Rotary International to eliminate polio.

Bill Maher

William Maher (; born January 20, 1956) is an American comedian, political commentator, and television host. He is known for the HBO political talk show Real Time with Bill Maher (2003–present) and the similar late-night show called Politically Incorrect (1993–2002), originally on Comedy Central and later on ABC.

Maher is known for his sarcastic attitude, political satire and sociopolitical commentary. He targets many topics including religion, politics, bureaucracy, political correctness and the mass media.Maher supports the legalization of cannabis and same-sex marriage. His critical views of religion were the basis for the 2008 documentary film Religulous. He is a supporter of animal rights, having served on the board of PETA since 1997 and is an advisory board member of Project Reason. In 2005, Maher ranked at number 38 on Comedy Central's 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all time. He received a Hollywood Walk of Fame star on September 14, 2010.

Bill Murray

William James Murray (born September 21, 1950) is an American actor, comedian, and writer. He first gained exposure on Saturday Night Live, a series of performances that earned him his first Emmy Award, and later starred in comedy films—including Meatballs (1979), Caddyshack (1980), Stripes (1981), Tootsie (1982), Ghostbusters (1984), Scrooged (1988), Ghostbusters II (1989), What About Bob? (1991), and Groundhog Day (1993). He also co-directed Quick Change (1990).

Murray garnered additional critical acclaim later in his career, starring in Lost in Translation (2003), which earned him a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor, as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, and for frequently collaborating with director Wes Anderson. He also received Golden Globe nominations for his roles in Ghostbusters, Rushmore (1998), Hyde Park on Hudson (2012), St. Vincent (2014), and the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge (2014), for which he later won his second Primetime Emmy Award.

Murray received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2016. His comedy is known for its deadpan delivery.

Bill O'Reilly (political commentator)

William James O'Reilly Jr. (born September 10, 1949) is an American journalist, author, and former television host. During the late 1970s and 1980s, he reported for local television stations in the United States and later for CBS News and ABC News. He anchored the tabloid television program Inside Edition from 1989 to 1995. In 1996, O'Reilly joined the Fox News Channel and hosted The O'Reilly Factor until 2017. The O'Reilly Factor was the highest-rated cable news show for 16 years and he was described by media analyst Howard Kurtz as "the biggest star in the 20 year history at Fox News" at the time of his departure. He is the author of numerous books and hosted The Radio Factor (2002–2009). Since 2017, he has hosted the No Spin News podcast, which he founded after being fired from Fox.O'Reilly's media career took a major blow after several New York Times investigations revealed that he had paid half a dozen women nearly $50 million to settle various sexual harassment lawsuits. After the first New York Times investigation revealed that O'Reilly and Fox News had settled five sexual harassment lawsuits totaling $13 million, Fox News terminated O'Reilly's employment in April 2017. In October 2017, The New York Times reported an additional settlement of $32 million that O'Reilly had paid to settle a sixth sexual harassment lawsuit, which had been filed against him by former Fox News analyst Lis Wiehl because of the "non-consensual sexual relationship" she says O'Reilly initiated with her. The revelation of this sixth settlement caused O'Reilly to be dropped by the United Talent Agency.O'Reilly is considered to be a conservative commentator. He is registered as a member of the Independence Party of New York, and was formerly registered as a Republican.

Bill Parcells

Duane Charles "Bill" Parcells (born August 22, 1941), also known as The Big Tuna, is a former American football coach, best known as a head coach in the National Football League (NFL) for 19 seasons. He rose to prominence as the head coach of the New York Giants, whom he led to two Super Bowl titles. Parcells later served as the head coach of the New England Patriots, New York Jets, and Dallas Cowboys. Throughout his career, he coached teams that were in a period of decline and turned them into postseason contenders. He is the only coach in NFL history to lead four teams to the playoffs and three teams to a conference championship game.

When Parcells became the head coach of the Giants in 1983, he took over a franchise that had qualified for the postseason only once (1981) in the past decade and had only one winning record in their last 10 seasons. Parcells brought new success to the team and within four years, guided them to their first Super Bowl win. His tenure with the Giants spanned eight seasons and concluded with a second championship victory in Super Bowl XXV. After the Super Bowl win, Parcells retired as a coach in 1991.

In 1993, Parcells came out of retirement to become the head coach of the Patriots, another struggling franchise at the time. Once again, Parcells changed the fortunes for the team and led them to an appearance in Super Bowl XXXI during his fourth season as their coach, although the game ended in defeat for the Patriots. Amid conflicts with Patriots owner Robert Kraft, he left the franchise after their Super Bowl loss and became the head coach of the Jets for the next season. Under Parcells, the Jets went from having only one victory in the previous season to obtaining a winning record, and they reached the 1998 AFC Championship Game in his second year with the team.

After three seasons as the Jets' head coach, Parcells retired for a second time in 1999, but came back to football in 2003 to become the head coach of the Cowboys. He coached the Cowboys for four seasons and helped them qualify for the playoffs twice, although the team was eliminated in the first round each time. Following the team's loss in a 2006 NFC Wild Card game, Parcells retired from coaching for good in 2007.

Since his final retirement from coaching, Parcells currently serves as an NFL analyst for ESPN and since 2014, has been an unofficial consultant for the Cleveland Browns. He was also the Vice President of Football Operations with the Miami Dolphins, a position he held from 2008 to 2010. In 2013, Parcells was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.His life story, "Parcells: A Football Life" was co-authored by Bill Parcells and writer Nunyo Demasio, a former Washington Post reporter. The collaboration was released by Penguin Random House in late 2014, and soon became a New York Times bestseller.

Bill Paxton

William Paxton (May 17, 1955 – February 25, 2017) was an American actor and director. He appeared in films such as The Terminator (1984), Weird Science (1985), Aliens (1986), Predator 2 (1990), Tombstone (1993), True Lies (1994), Apollo 13 (1995), Twister (1996), Titanic (1997), Mighty Joe Young (1998), U-571 (2000), Vertical Limit (2000), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), and Nightcrawler (2014). He also starred in the HBO drama series Big Love (2006–2011), earning three Golden Globe Award nominations during the show's run. He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for portraying Randall McCoy in the History channel miniseries Hatfields & McCoys (2012). Paxton's final film appearance was in The Circle (2017), released two months after his death.

Bill Polian

William Patrick Polian, Jr. (born December 8, 1942) is an American NFL analyst for ESPN, American football executive, co-founder of the Alliance of American Football and was the Vice Chairman of the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League from 1998 to 2011. He rose to league prominence as the General Manager of the Buffalo Bills, building a team that participated in four straight Super Bowls—the most consecutive appearances by any team—but lost each time. Following his stint in Buffalo, Polian went on to become the General Manager of the expansion Carolina Panthers. Polian was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.

Bill Russell

William Felton Russell (born February 12, 1934) is an American retired professional basketball player. Russell played center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1956 to 1969. A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a twelve-time All-Star, he was the centerpiece of the Celtics dynasty, winning eleven NBA championships during his thirteen-year career. Russell tied the record for the most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league (with Henri Richard of the National Hockey League). Before his professional career, Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956, and he captained the gold-medal winning U.S. national basketball team at the 1956 Summer Olympics.Russell is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history. In his playing days, he was 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) tall, with a 7 ft 4 in (2.24 m) wingspan. His shot-blocking and man-to-man defense were major reasons for the Celtics' domination of the NBA during his career. Russell was equally notable for his rebounding abilities. He led the NBA in rebounds four times, had a dozen consecutive seasons of 1,000 or more rebounds, and remains second all-time in both total rebounds and rebounds per game. He is one of just two NBA players (the other being prominent rival Wilt Chamberlain) to have grabbed more than 50 rebounds in a game. Russell was never the focal point of the Celtics' offense, but he did score 14,522 career points and provided effective passing.

Russell played in the wake of black pioneers like Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper, and Sweetwater Clifton, and he was the first black player to achieve superstar status in the NBA. He also served a three-season (1966–69) stint as player-coach for the Celtics, becoming the first black coach in North American professional sports and the first to win a championship. In 2011, Barack Obama awarded Russell the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his accomplishments on the court and in the Civil Rights Movement.Russell is one of seven players in history to win an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship, and an Olympic gold medal. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. He was selected into the NBA 25th Anniversary Team in 1971 and the NBA 35th Anniversary Team in 1980, and named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, one of only four players to receive all three honors. In 2007, he was enshrined in the FIBA Hall of Fame. In Russell's honor the NBA renamed the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player trophy in 2009: it is now the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award.

Buffalo Bill

William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody (February 26, 1846 – January 10, 1917) was an American scout, bison hunter, and showman. He was born in Le Claire, Iowa Territory (now the U.S. state of Iowa), but he lived for several years in his father's hometown in Toronto Township, Ontario, Canada, before the family returned to the Midwest and settled in the Kansas Territory.

Buffalo Bill started working at the age of eleven, after his father's death, and became a rider for the Pony Express at age 14. During the American Civil War, he served the Union from 1863 to the end of the war in 1865. Later he served as a civilian scout for the US Army during the Indian Wars, receiving the Medal of Honor in 1872.

One of the most colorful figures of the American Old West, Buffalo Bill's legend began to spread when he was only twenty-three. Shortly thereafter he started performing in shows that displayed cowboy themes and episodes from the frontier and Indian Wars. He founded Buffalo Bill's Wild West in 1883, taking his large company on tours in the United States and, beginning in 1887, in Great Britain and continental Europe.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born October 26, 1947) is an American politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer, and public speaker. She served as the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001, U.S. Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009, 67th United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, and as the Democratic Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election, the first woman nominated by a major party.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, Clinton graduated from Wellesley College in 1969 and earned a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 1973. After serving as a congressional legal counsel, she moved to Arkansas and married Bill Clinton in 1975; the two had met at Yale. In 1977, she co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. She was appointed the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation in 1978, and became the first female partner at Little Rock's Rose Law Firm the following year. As First Lady of Arkansas, she led a task force whose recommendations helped reform Arkansas's public schools.

As First Lady of the United States, Clinton was an advocate for gender equality and healthcare reform. Her marital relationship came under public scrutiny during the Lewinsky scandal, which led her to issue a statement that reaffirmed her commitment to the marriage. In 2000, Clinton was elected as the first female Senator from New York. She was reelected to the Senate in 2006. Running for president in 2008, she won far more delegates than any previous female candidate, but lost the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama. During her tenure as U.S. Secretary of State in the Obama Administration from 2009 to 2013, Clinton responded to the Arab Spring by advocating military intervention in Libya. She helped to organize a diplomatic isolation and international sanctions regime against Iran, in an effort to force curtailment of that country's nuclear program; this would eventually lead to the multinational Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement in 2015. Upon leaving her Cabinet position after Obama's first term, she wrote her fifth book and undertook speaking engagements.

Clinton made a second presidential run in 2016. She received the most votes and primary delegates in the 2016 Democratic primaries, and formally accepted her party's nomination for President of the United States on July 28, 2016, with vice presidential running mate Senator from Virginia Tim Kaine. She lost the presidential election to Republican opponent Donald Trump in the Electoral College, despite winning a plurality of the popular vote. She received more than 65 million votes, the 3rd-highest count in a U.S. presidential election, behind Obama's victories in 2008 and 2012. Following her loss, she wrote her third memoir, What Happened, and launched Onward Together, a political action organization dedicated to fundraising for progressive political groups.

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots are a professional American football team based in the Greater Boston region. The Patriots compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The team plays its home games at Gillette Stadium in the town of Foxborough, Massachusetts, which is located 21 miles (34 km) southwest of downtown Boston, Massachusetts and 20 miles (32 km) northeast of downtown Providence, Rhode Island. The Patriots are also headquartered at Gillette Stadium.

An original member of the American Football League (AFL), the Patriots joined the NFL in the 1970 merger of the two leagues. The team changed its name from the original Boston Patriots after relocating to Foxborough in 1971. The Patriots played their home games at Foxboro Stadium from 1971 to 2001, then moved to Gillette Stadium at the start of the 2002 season. The Patriots' rivalry with the New York Jets is considered one of the most bitter rivalries in the NFL.

Since the arrival of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady in 2000, the Patriots have since become one of the most successful teams in NFL history, winning 16 AFC East titles in 18 seasons since 2001, without a losing season in that period. The franchise has since set numerous notable records, including most wins in a ten-year period (126, in 2003–2012), an undefeated 16-game regular season in 2007, the longest winning streak consisting of regular season and playoff games in NFL history (a 21-game streak from October 2003 to October 2004), and the most consecutive division titles won by a team in NFL history (ten straight division titles from 2009 to 2018). The team owns the record for most Super Bowls reached (nine) and won (six) by a head coach–quarterback tandem, most Super Bowl appearances overall (eleven), tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins (six), and also tied with the Denver Broncos for the most Super Bowl losses (five).

Parliament of the United Kingdom

The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, and domestically simply as Parliament, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign (the Queen-in-Parliament), the House of Lords, and the House of Commons (the primary chamber). The two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London.

The House of Lords includes two different types of members: the Lords Spiritual, consisting of the most senior bishops of the Church of England, and the Lords Temporal, consisting mainly of life peers, appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister, and of 92 hereditary peers, sitting either by virtue of holding a royal office, or by being elected by their fellow hereditary peers. Prior to the opening of the Supreme Court in October 2009, the House of Lords also performed a judicial role through the Law Lords.

The House of Commons is an elected chamber with elections to 650 single member constituencies held at least every five years under the first-past-the-post system. The two Houses meet in separate chambers in the Palace of Westminster (commonly known as the Houses of Parliament) in London. By constitutional convention, all government ministers, including the Prime Minister, are members of the House of Commons or, less commonly, the House of Lords and are thereby accountable to the respective branches of the legislature. Most cabinet ministers are from the Commons, whilst junior ministers can be from either House. However, the Leader of the House of Lords must be a peer.

The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Treaty of Union by Acts of Union passed by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland, both Acts of Union stating, "That the United Kingdom of Great Britain be represented by one and the same Parliament to be styled The Parliament of Great Britain". At the start of the 19th century, Parliament was further enlarged by Acts of Union ratified by the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland that abolished the latter and added 100 Irish MPs and 32 Lords to the former to create the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 formally amended the name to the "Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", five years after the secession of the Irish Free State in 1922.

With the global expansion of the British Empire, the UK Parliament has shaped the political systems of many countries as ex-colonies and so it has been called the "Mother of Parliaments". However, John Bright – who coined the epithet – used it in reference to the political culture of "England" rather than just the parliamentary system.In theory, the UK's supreme legislative power is officially vested in the Crown-in-Parliament. However, the Crown normally acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the powers of the House of Lords are limited to only delaying legislation; thus power is de facto vested in the House of Commons.

Tokio Hotel

Tokio Hotel is a German rock band, founded in 2001 by singer Bill Kaulitz, guitarist Tom Kaulitz, drummer Gustav Schäfer, and bassist Georg Listing. Its sound encompasses multiple genres, including pop rock, alternative rock, and electropop. The quartet has scored four number-one singles and has released three number-one albums in its native country. The band has sold more than 10 million CDs worldwide.

After recording an unreleased demo-album under the name "Devilish" and having their contract with Sony BMG Germany terminated, the band released its first German-language album, Schrei, as Tokio Hotel on Universal Music Germany in 2005. Schrei sold more than half-a-million copies worldwide and spawned four top-five singles in both Germany and Austria.

In 2007, the band released their second German-language album, Zimmer 483, and their first English-language album, Scream, which have combined album sales of over 2.5 million copies worldwide and helped win the band their first MTV Europe Music Award for Best InterAct. The former, Zimmer 483, spawned three top-five singles in Germany while the latter, Scream, spawned two singles that reached the top-twenty in new territories such as France, Portugal, Spain and Italy. In September 2008, they won their first MTV Video Music Award, for Best New Artist. Tokio Hotel became the first German band ever to win an award at the MTV VMAs and to also win awards at the MTV Latin America Awards. They also picked up the Headliner award at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2008 and the award for Best Group at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2009. They won for Best World Stage Performance on November 7, 2010 at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Madrid. In July 2011, they became the first German band to win an award at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan.

Their most recent work is the album Dream Machine, released in early 2017, which was received with mixed reviews. On March 12, the band embarked on their Dream Machine Tour.

United States Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights in the United States is the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. Proposed following the often bitter 1787–88 debate over ratification of the U.S. Constitution, and written to address the objections raised by Anti-Federalists, the Bill of Rights amendments add to the Constitution specific guarantees of personal freedoms and rights, clear limitations on the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and explicit declarations that all powers not specifically delegated to Congress by the Constitution are reserved for the states or the people. The concepts codified in these amendments are built upon those found in several earlier documents, including the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the English Bill of Rights, along with earlier documents such as Magna Carta (1215). In practice, the amendments had little impact on judgments by the courts for the first 150 years after ratification.On June 8, 1789, Representative James Madison introduced nine amendments to the Constitution in the House of Representatives. Madison proposed inserting specific rights limiting the power of Congress in Article One, Section 9. Seven of these limitations would become part of the ten ratified Bill of Rights amendments. Ultimately, on September 25, 1789, Congress approved twelve articles of amendment to the Constitution, each consisting of one one-sentence paragraph, and submitted them to the states for ratification. Contrary to Madison's original proposal that the articles be incorporated into the main body of the Constitution, they were proposed as supplemental additions (codicils) to it. Articles Three through Twelve were ratified as additions to the Constitution on December 15, 1791, and became Amendments One through Ten of the Constitution. Article Two became part of the Constitution on May 5, 1992, as the Twenty-seventh Amendment. Article One is still pending before the states.

Although Madison's proposed amendments included a provision to extend the protection of some of the Bill of Rights to the states, the amendments that were finally submitted for ratification applied only to the federal government. The door for their application upon state governments was opened in the 1860s, following ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. Since the early 20th century both federal and state courts have used the Fourteenth Amendment to apply portions of the Bill of Rights to state and local governments. The process is known as incorporation.There are several original engrossed copies of the Bill of Rights still in existence. One of these is on permanent public display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Wild Bill Hickok

James Butler Hickok (May 27, 1837 – August 2, 1876), better known as "Wild Bill" Hickok, was a folk hero of the American Old West known for his work across the frontier as a drover, wagon master, soldier, spy, scout, lawman, gunfighter, gambler, showman, and actor. He earned a great deal of notoriety in his own time, much of it bolstered by the many outlandish and often fabricated tales that he told about his life. Some contemporaneous reports of his exploits are known to be fictitious, but they remain the basis of much of his fame and reputation, along with his own stories.

Hickok was born and raised on a farm in northern Illinois at a time when lawlessness and vigilante activity were rampant because of the influence of the "Banditti of the Prairie". Hickok was drawn to this ruffian lifestyle and headed west at age 18 as a fugitive from justice, working as a stagecoach driver and later as a lawman in the frontier territories of Kansas and Nebraska. He fought and spied for the Union Army during the American Civil War and gained publicity after the war as a scout, marksman, actor, and professional gambler. Over the course of his life, he was involved in several notable shoot-outs.

In 1876, Hickok was shot from behind and killed while playing poker in a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory (present-day South Dakota) by Jack McCall, an unsuccessful gambler. The hand of cards which he supposedly held at the time of his death has become known as the dead man's hand: two pairs, aces and eights.

Hickok remains a popular figure in frontier history. Many historic sites and monuments commemorate his life, and he has been depicted numerous times in literature, film, and television. He is chiefly portrayed as a protagonist, though historical accounts of his actions are often controversial and most of his career was exaggerated by both himself and various mythmakers. While Hickok claimed to have killed numerous named and unnamed gunmen in his lifetime, according to Joseph G. Rosa, Hickok's biographer and the foremost authority on Wild Bill, Hickok killed only six or seven men in gunfights.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. Sometime between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. At age 49 (around 1613), he appears to have retired to Stratford, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive; this has stimulated considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, his sexuality, his religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others. Such theories are often criticised for failing to adequately note that few records survive of most commoners of the period.

Shakespeare produced most of his known works between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were primarily comedies and histories and are regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres. Until about 1608, he wrote mainly tragedies, among them Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, all considered to be among the finest works in the English language. In the last phase of his life, he wrote tragicomedies (also known as romances) and collaborated with other playwrights.

Many of Shakespeare's plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy in his lifetime. However, in 1623, two fellow actors and friends of Shakespeare's, John Heminges and Henry Condell, published a more definitive text known as the First Folio, a posthumous collected edition of Shakespeare's dramatic works that included all but two of his plays. The volume was prefaced with a poem by Ben Jonson, in which Jonson presciently hails Shakespeare in a now-famous quote as "not of an age, but for all time".Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, Shakespeare's works have been continually adapted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain popular and are studied, performed, and reinterpreted through various cultural and political contexts around the world.

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