Bill and Melinda Gates

image for Bill and Melinda Gates
Exhibition Label
Bill Gates (born 1955) dropped out of Harvard to write software for the earliest personal computers. His company, Microsoft, developed a computer operating system for wide-scale nontechnical use that spurred on the personal computer revolution begun in the 1980s. Microsoft remains a leader in the industry and made Gates among the world’s wealthiest individuals. Melinda French Gates (born 1964) has degrees in computer science, economics, and business, and was employed by Microsoft before marrying Bill Gates in 1994.
The couple created the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the mission of helping all people live healthy, productive lives. Global priorities include improving health and boosting the productivity of small farms in poor countries; national initiatives include implementing partnerships to make sure students graduate from high school ready for college and helping local libraries provide free computer and Internet services.
The painting is set near the Gates family home on Lake Washington. The collaged screen on the left includes maps, charts, and images referencing the foundation’s work, with the statement “All Lives Have Equal Value.” The background shows the lake with the Olympic Mountains in the distance.
NPG commissioned from artist
Jon R. Friedman, born 1947
William Henry Gates III, born 28 Oct 1955
Melinda Gates, born 1964
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; supported by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and by the Marc Pachter Commissioning Fund
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
20th Century Americans: 2000 to Present
On View
NPG, South Gallery 341
Object number
Interior\Interior with Exterior View
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair\Armchair
Interior\Conference room
William Henry Gates III: Male
William Henry Gates III: Society and Social Change\Philanthropist
William Henry Gates III: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Humanitarian
William Henry Gates III: Business and Finance\Businessperson\Industrialist\Manufacturer\Computer software
William Henry Gates III: Business and Finance\Businessperson\Executive\Computer
William Henry Gates III: Business and Finance\Businessperson\Entrepreneur\Technology
William Henry Gates III: Business and Finance\Businessperson\Business magnate
Melinda Gates: Female
Melinda Gates: Health and Medicine\Philanthropist
Oil and collage on canvas attached to wood panel
Panel: 127.6 x 117.5cm (50 1/4 x 46 1/4")
Frame: 130.7 x 120.5 x 7cm (51 7/16 x 47 7/16 x 2 3/4")
National Portrait Gallery