Bill Gates Sr., father of Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, dies at age 94 (MSFT)

Bill Gates, father, Bill Gates Sr.Brian Ach/Getty Images

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Bill Gates Sr., father of Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and prominent Seattle attorney, has died. He was 94.

"My dad passed away peacefully at home yesterday, surrounded by his family," son Bill Gates announced Tuesday on his personal website.

"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," the younger Gates wrote in a tribute to his father. "And we are not alone in these feelings. My dad's wisdom, generosity, empathy, and humility had a huge influence on people around the world."

Gates Sr. was an accomplished attorney and a fixture in the Seattle-area community.

"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," the younger Gates wrote.

He co-founded the law firm Preston Gates & Ellis, the predecessor to what is now international law firm K&L Gates, served as president for the county and state bar associations, and was an active member of organizations including the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and United Way. 

More recently, Gates Sr. served as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he guided "he vision and strategic direction of the foundation," according to its website.

"The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would not be what it is today without my dad," the younger Bill Gates wrote. "More than anyone else, he shaped the values of the foundation. He was collaborative, judicious, and serious about learning. He was dignified but hated anything that seemed pretentious."

Microsoft's current CEO Satya Nadella called Gates Sr. "an important part of the Microsoft story," and said he "helped shape our culture, played a vital role in our community, and influenced our philanthropic programs."

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