Remembering William H. Gates Sr.

Sep 17, 2020

It is with great sadness we share the news of William H. Gates Senior’s passing on Monday, September 14, 2020.

Bill Gates Sr. has many profound legacies, but the one that resonates most with us is the investment in the vision that created the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health.

When family planning lost its prominence on the global agenda in the 1980s and 1990s, Bill Gates Sr. helped to ensure that it earned a spotlight once again in policies and programs across the globe. His seminal investment in Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health allowed the Gates Institute to identify and train the “leaders of tomorrow” across the world in the family planning and reproductive health landscape.

Bill Gates Sr.’s legacy was recognized and honored by the reproductive health community worldwide with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) in Kigali, Rwanda in 2018. The Gates Institute dedicated its Twelve-year Report in his honor in 2017. His powerful role in raising the profile of family planning and reproductive health across the globe and in the creation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute was documented in a video celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Institute last year. The family planning community will continue to honor Bill Gates Sr. and his legacy long into the future.

As we remember and celebrate the momentous impact Bill Gates Sr. had on the world, we remain dedicated to being a force for good and a global leader in social change. He will be greatly missed.

Jose “Oying” Rimon II
Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health
Senior Scientist, Population, Family and Reproductive Health
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

 

“Bill Gates Sr.’s far-reaching concerns for the global wellbeing of humankind was rooted in seeing the injustices of poverty, ill health and unequal opportunity.  He used his own intellect, opportunities and privileges to invest in promising ventures to level the playing fields, including supporting the learning of population and reproductive health science by individuals and institutions that could transform their own environments, generation after generation.  His vision, generosity and confidence in academia, among the many agents of change, was profoundly transformational itself.  He singularly exemplified what greatness can mean, without seeking attention.”

Amy Tsui, PhD
Professor Emerita
Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health
Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health
Bloomberg School of Public Health

“Bill was a wonderful person. I was fortunate to meet him in the very early days of the Foundation. He was so unpretentious and terribly smart. With a handful of people, the Foundation almost immediately changed the field of international health and, undoubtedly, put in motion programs that have saved millions of lives.”

Duff Gillespie, PhD
Professor
Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health
Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health

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