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Entrepreneur Of The Millennium: Bill Gates

He's redefined wealth, technology, information and society. So what comes next? Watch out, 2999! This one may just repeat.

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This story appears in the December 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Few entrepreneurs survive the transition from start-up to conglomerate. Of those, only a fraction go on to lead their company past the billion-dollar mark.

And of those, only one man has directed a company to publicly traded worth of about half a trillion dollars-when compared to nations, his company boasts the ninth largest economy in the world. At 44, he may be the richest man in history, worth approximately $77 billion. He's also created more millionaires than anyone in the history of business, both directly through stock options ($10,000 invested in his company's IPO is worth $4.8 million today, the most successful stock of the century) and indirectly by making computers part of daily life.

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