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Bill Gates Shares the Everyday Heroes Who Inspire Him

The Microsoft co-founder shines a spotlight on some of the people he admires who are making a difference.


You could argue that one of the reasons why Bill Gates is so successful is that he isn’t afraid of what he doesn’t know. Through his work with the Gates Foundation, he is clearly passionate about helping people all over the world lead healthy, productive lives that aren’t hindered by a lack of access, whether it be to clean water or an education.

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Gates always takes to social media and his blog to talk about the books that have opened his eyes and taught him more about the global issues that he is working to help solve. But recently, he also took a moment to thank five people whose work and determination he greatly admires.

“Although our foundation funds a lot of efforts to help improve the world, I sacrifice little compared to the people doing the hard work that makes progress possible,” Gates explained on his blog. “These and millions of other people like them are making a difference in our world. And while they may be too humble call themselves heroes, I can think of no better word to describe them.”

Here are five people who Bill Gates considers heroes:

Related: 21 Weird Things We've Learned About Bill Gates

Camille Jones

Jones is schoolteacher in Quincy, Wash. She was named the 2017 Washington State Teacher of the Year. She grew up on a farm in Quincy, and has taught in her hometown for the past seven years.

Dr. Segenet Kelemu

Kelenu grew up in Ethiopia and she is the first woman from her region to earn a college degree. She works as director general of the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi.

Dr. Ada Okoli

In 2014, Okoli was working at hospital in Lagos in her native Nigeria when she was infected with Ebola. She survived and now that she is well, she is focused on working finding solutions to prevent epidemics in the future.

Anna Rosling

Rosling is the co-founder of Gapminder, a nonprofit based in Stockholm, Sweden, that is dedicated to dismantling myths about global inequality through accessible presentations. Gates cites a recent endeavor, Dollar Street, which assembled economic profiles of 264 families from across the world.

Dr. Mathew Varghese

Varghese is an orthopedic surgeon at St. Stephens Hospital in Delhi, India, and oversees the country’s sole polio ward. He works to provide those afflicted with the disease -- which was eradicated in India in 2011 -- with better mobility.

Nina Zipkin

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.