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Posts Tagged ‘Phil Knight’

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Bill Gates, Father of three adorable children shares his love of books. Reading is crucial and the backbone to everything we do in life….here are some of his favorites.

 

~My Favorite Books~
By Bill Gates

 
Never before have I felt so empowered to learn as I do today. When I was young, there were few options to learn on my own. My parents had a set of World Book Encyclopedias, which I read through in alphabetical order. But there were no online courses, video lectures, or podcasts to introduce me to new ideas and thinkers as we have today.
Still, reading books is my favorite way to learn about a new topic. I’ve been reading about a book a week on average since I was a kid. Even when my schedule is out of control, I carve out a lot of time for reading.

 
If you’re looking for a book to enjoy, here are some of my favorites from this year. They cover an eclectic mix of topics—from tennis to tennis shoes, genomics to great leadership. They’re all very well written, and they all dropped me down a rabbit hole of unexpected insights and pleasures.

 

 

String Theory, by David Foster Wallace. This book has nothing to do with physics, but its title will make you look super smart if you’re reading it on a train or plane. String Theory is a collection of five of Wallace’s best essays on tennis, a sport I gave up in my Microsoft days and am once again pursuing with a passion. You don’t have to play or even watch tennis to love this book. The late author wielded a pen as skillfully as Roger Federer wields a tennis racket. Here, as in his other brilliant works, Wallace found mind-blowing ways of bending language like a metal spoon.

 
Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight. This memoir, by the co-founder of Nike, is a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like: messy, precarious, and riddled with mistakes. I’ve met Knight a few times over the years. He’s super nice, but he’s also quiet and difficult to get to know. Here Knight opens up in a way few CEOs are willing to do. I don’t think Knight sets out to teach the reader anything. Instead, he accomplishes something better. He tells his story as honestly as he can. It’s an amazing tale.

 
The Gene, by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Doctors are deemed a “triple threat” when they take care of patients, teach medical students, and conduct research. Mukherjee, who does all of these things at Columbia University, is a “quadruple threat,” because he’s also a Pulitzer Prize– winning author. In his latest book, Mukherjee guides us through the past, present, and future of genome science, with a special focus on huge ethical questions that the latest and greatest genome technologies provoke. Mukherjee wrote this book for a lay audience, because he knows that the new genome technologies are at the cusp of affecting us all in profound ways.

 
The Myth of the Strong Leader, by Archie Brown. This year’s fierce election battle prompted me to pick up this 2014 book, by an Oxford University scholar who has studied political leadership—good, bad, and ugly—for more than 50 years. Brown shows that the leaders who make the biggest contributions to history and humanity generally are not the ones we perceive to be “strong leaders.” Instead, they tend to be the ones who collaborate, delegate, and negotiate—and recognize that no one person can or should have all the answers. Brown could not have predicted how resonant his book would become in 2016.

 
Honorable mention: The Grid, by Gretchen Bakke. This book, about our aging electrical grid, fits in one of my favorite genres: “Books About Mundane Stuff That Are Actually Fascinating.” Part of the reason I find this topic fascinating is because my first job, in high school, was writing software for the entity that controls the power grid in the Northwest. But even if you have never given a moment’s thought to how electricity reaches your outlets, I think this book would convince you that the electrical grid is one of the greatest engineering wonders of the modern world. I think you would also come to see why modernizing the grid is so complex and so critical for building our clean-energy future.

 

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According to a recent report on publicly announced giving compiled by The Chronicle of Philanthropy – an organization that publishes news and resources on philanthropy – there were twelve donations given by wealthy donors that surpassed $100 million, plus another six that totaled $100 million exactly.

The two largest donations – for $500 million each – came from Nike cofounder Phil Knight and his wife Penny, and investor-philanthropist Nicolas Beggruen.

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Phil Knight~

Knight, a billionaire whose net worth Forbes estimates at $24.9 billion (making him the 18th wealthiest person in the United States), made his high-value gift to the University of Oregon – his alma mater – to establish there a new center for scientific research. Berggruen, with an estimate worth of $1.73 billion, donated to his own public policy think-tank, the Berggruen Institute.

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Nicolas Berggruen~

The second most valuable donation, a $400 million pledge, was also made by Mr. and Mrs. Knight. This trove of charity went to Stanford University to establish the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, which provides education to 100 graduate high achieving students every year.

Also providing a $400 million gift to a good cause was physician Howard Marcus and wife Lottie, an investor, who directed their money in the form of a bequest to American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev for endowment and water research. The donation was the largest ever to an Israeli university.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a large charitable impact, The billionaire’s philanthropic organization gave $360 million to handful of organizations and an additional $300 million donation to The Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, to establish the Bloomberg American Health Initiative.

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Steven Cohen and wife Alexandra pledged $275 million last year to start the Cohen Veterans Network to provide mental-health services to former service members and their families. Cohen, whose net worth FORBES estimates at $13 billion, built his wealth in hedge funds.

Facebook founding president, Sean Parker, makes an appearance on the list of top donors of 2016, with a $250 million gift to establish the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

Oracle founder, Larry Ellison, made the list as well, pledging $200 million to the University of Southern California, to establish the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine.

Legendary investor and Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger pledged $200 million to the University of California at Santa Barbara, for new student housing.

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Sanford Weill, chairman emeritus of Citigroup, and his wife, Joan, donated $185 million to the University of California at San Francisco, to start the Weill Institute for Neurosciences.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg donated $107.2 million to the Fidelity Charitable, for the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Fund.

Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen pledged $100 million to establish the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group.

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Billionaire Phillip Frost, a physician and pharmaceutical company executive, and his wife, Patricia, pledged $100 million to the University of Miami, to support applied sciences and engineering.

David Geffen, a cofounder of DreamWorks Studios SKG and founder of Geffen Records, pledged $100 million to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, to renovate and expand the museum.

Netflix founder, Reed Hastings, gave $100 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, to establish the Hastings Fund.

Robert King, founder of Peninsula Capital, and his wife, Dorothy, pledged $100 million to Stanford University, for scholarships for students from underdeveloped countries.

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Mortimer Zuckerman, a cofounder of Boston Properties, a real-estate investment trust, donated $100 million to create the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Scholars Program in STEM Leadership to bolster collaboration between top U.S. and Israeli researchers.

 

By Karsten Strauss