"Bill Gates Views What He's Sown in Libraries Now, he is about $40 billion lighter, on paper, but he shrugs it off. "My value is still so much higher than I ever expected it to be by a factor of about 50," Mr. Gates said. "So the fact that at one point it was say, a factor of 60, well — that wealth is all going back to society anyway."
The charitable group that Mr. Gates started with his wife, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is now giving away $1.2 billion a year. Mr. Gates said he was pleased that its first major philanthropic effort, the library project, had helped to narrow the digital divide. More than 95 percent of public libraries now offer free Internet access, including those here in Whitman County, which mainly serve wheat farmers and received $93,000 from the Gates Foundation."