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Microsoft founder to be knighted

Microsoft founder to be knighted

Bill Gates, Chairman and founder of the Microsoft Corporation, is to be awarded an honorary Knighthood by The Queen.

The honorary KBE is in recognition of his outstanding contribution to enterprise, employment, education and the voluntary sector in the United Kingdom. He has also made significant contributions to poverty reduction in parts of the Commonwealth and elsewhere in the developing world.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he was delighted that Bill Gates has been awarded this honour, as one of the most important global business leaders of this age.

"Microsoft technology has transformed business practices and his company has had a profound impact on the British economy, employing 2,000 people and contributing to the development of the IT sector," he said.

"In 2000 the Gates Foundation announced the single biggest international educational scholarship programme ever established in the United Kingdom. With an estimated worth of US$210 million, it allows 230 students to study at Cambridge University. In addition, his international development work makes the Gates Foundation one of the leading philanthropic organisations of the modern age."

The honour KBE is that of a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Honorary awards are conferred by the Queen, on the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, on foreign nationals who have made an important contribution to British interests. They are made throughout the year and are distinct from the New Year and Birthday Honours Lists.

The award will be presented to Mr Gates at a later date.

Foreign citizens that have previously received a knighthood include the former US Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, Chancellor Kohl, President Mitterrand and Mayor Giuliani of New York.


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