The 2006 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award
In 2006, The James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award honored Bill Gates. His vision exemplifies the spirit of The Awards and his work brings us closer to solving humanity's greatest challenges around the world. Bill Gates began programming computers when he was just 13, when programmers were rare and computers were so expensive that only governments and large corporations could afford them. In his early twenties he founded his company based on an idea that seemed unimaginable at the time: that computers would someday be on every desk and in every home. Like The Tech Awards Laureates, he has been guided by a unique vision of what is possible. It was Bill Gates' long-term view, his optimism, and his drive to see things through that helped fundamentally change the way we use and understand computers today. And it is those same qualities that fuel his philanthropic work and mirror the values of The Tech Awards. Through The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates focuses his energies on global health issues, especially HIV prevention and treatment; improving education; and reducing poverty in the developing world. These challenges are so daunting, and so complicated by politics and global inequalities, that many people would say there are no solutions. But Bill Gates believes that we cannot ignore suffering, even if it is caused by complex problems with no apparent solutions. He inspires us to continue innovating because, through his experience, he has learned that solutions exist and that human ingenuity aided by science and technology can make the world a better place for everyone. Like the Laureates we honor tonight, he is changing the world. To Bill Gates we say thank you for your vigilance and determination to achieve what others haven't even imagined. And for your tireless work toward health, education, and equality, we honor you with the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award.