Bill Gates Sr., father of Microsoft co-founder, dies at 94

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corp., left, talks with his father Bill Gates Sr., during an event at the 92nd Street Y in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, June 2, 2010.

Jeremy Bales | Bloomberg | Getty Images

William H. Gates II, a lawyer and philanthropist best known as the father of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has died at 94.

Gates died peacefully Monday at his beach home in Washington state from Alzheimer’s disease, the family announced Tuesday.

In an obituary the family credited the patriarch with a “deep commitment to social and economic equity,” noting that he was responsible for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s first efforts to improve global health as well as his advocacy for progressive taxation, especially unsuccessful efforts to pass a state income tax on the wealthy in Washington.

“My dad’s wisdom, generosity, empathy, and humility had a huge influence on people around the world,” Bill Gates wrote in a tribute.

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