William H. Gates II, father of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, has died at the age of 94 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Bill Gates confirmed his father’s death late Tuesday and called the Seattle attorney, the “real” Bill Gates.
“He was everything I try to be and I will miss him every day,” he tweeted.
In a statement reacting to his father’s death on his blog Tuesday evening, Gates said his father died “peacefully at home” while “surrounded by his family.”
“My dad’s passing was not unexpected—he was 94 years old and his health had been declining—so we have all had a long time to reflect on just how lucky we are to have had this amazing man in our lives for so many years,” he continued.
Gates said his father had a “quiet influence [on] almost everything” he’s ever done.
He said, “In Microsoft’s early years, I turned to him at key moments to seek his legal counsel. He played a similar role” for former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz by “helping him out at a key juncture in his business life.”
Gates described his father as one of “the hardest-working and most respected lawyers in Seattle [and a] major civic leader,” who had a “profound influence” on his drive and philanthropic endeavors.
“The experience of being the son of Bill Gates was incredible. People used to ask my dad if he was the real Bill Gates. The truth is, he was everything I try to be. I will miss him every day,” Gates wrote.
Philanthropist Melinda Gates, also mourned the loss of her father-in-law in a tweet later on Tuesday.
“I am heartbroken about the passing of Bill Gates Sr. It is difficult to overstate what he meant to me, to our family, and to our foundation,” she wrote. “Bill Sr. liked to say, in characteristic modesty, that the secret to his success was simply ‘showing up.’”