founder of Microsoft and philanthropist, was made a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth in March for his charity work and for his astute skills as a businessman. Gates and his wife, Melinda, established the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help fight poverty and improve health care all over the world. It is the world's largest charity, and has a $29 billion endowment. The foundation has donated about $5 billion to developing nations to fight AIDS and malaria, two of its major areas of concentration. The foundation's vaccination programs in poor countries are credited with saving at least 700,000 lives. Another emphasis of the foundation is on education; it sponsors the largest scholarship fund in history. Recently, Gates pledged $15 million to improve educational standards in U.S. high schools. Bill and Melinda Gates, along with the rock star Bono, were named TIME magazine's Persons of the Year in 2005.
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