Top 10 Authorized and Unauthorized Books About Bill Gates

Bill Gates appearing at a media event.
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Want to learn more about the enigmatic philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft? There are many top authorized and unauthorized books on the man who, at the time, became the youngest self-made billionaire in history.

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Barbarians Led by Bill Gates

"Barbarians Led by Bill Gates" book cover.

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Jennifer Edstrom and Marlin Eller were two "insiders" who wrote this book on the success and sordid details of Bill Gates' company. Based on accounts by the daughter of a Microsoft spin doctor and a 13-year veteran Microsoft developer, it gives the scoop on Microsoft's history from the early '80s to the present. The book is filled with juicy bits of gossip and humor. Some highlights include the Netscape vs. Explorer wars and Microsoft's trial with the Justice Department.

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Business the Bill Gates Way

"Business the Bill Gates Way" book cover.

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Learn about the business success secrets that made Bill Gates rich with this book from Des Dearlove. The book describes how Gates went from being a Harvard dropout to becoming one of the richest men in the world. This includes ten ways Bill Gates succeeded, and how you could apply it towards your own success. While written as a motivational aid for aspiring entrepreneurs, the book provides fascinating biographical insight into Bill Gates as well.

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Bill Gates (Biography series)

"Bill Gates" biography book cover.

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Part of the A & E "Biography" series, this book from Jeanne M. Lesinski is an easy and entertaining read about Bill Gates' life. It has 100 pages packed with photos that showcase Gates' life from childhood to his charitable works to brushes with the Justice Department. While other books may give more in-depth detail, this book gives readers a great overview.

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Bill Gates and the Race to Control Cyberspace

"Overdrive" by James Wallace book cover.

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Focusing on the years between 1992 and 1997, author James Wallace captures the browser wars between Microsoft and Netscape like a good spy novel. It was a time when Bill Gates doubled his net worth while doing what many experts thought he had missed the opportunity to do: capture the highway to the internet. The book is a fascinating, if somewhat unproven, exposé of the latter years of Bill Gates' life.

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Business @ the Speed of Thought

"Business @ the Speed of Thought" book cover.

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This book is a very expensive and hard-to-get collector's item that's written by Bill Gates himself. Gates gives the hard sell on why new technology is good for business and the need to regard it as an asset rather than an expense. "I have the simple but strong belief," Gates writes. "How you gather, manage, and use information will determine whether you win or lose."

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How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry

"Gates" book cover.

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Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews' chronicling of one of the youngest self-made billionaires in history has become a well-liked book among Bill Gates fans. Publisher Simon & Schuster says the book is "vivid and definitive, details the behind-the-scenes history of the personal computer industry and its movers and shakers, uncovering the inside stories of the bitter battle for control. A bracing, comprehensive portrait of the industry, the company, and the man."

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Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire

"Hard Drive" book cover.

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The book from James Wallace and Jim Erickson is an unauthorized biography of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates that details tactics such as software programming in Microsoft products that led to the failure of non-Microsoft products, Microsoft managers spying on employee email, and allegations of abusive behavior towards female executives. It covers the early history of Bill Gates' life up to Windows 3.0, with the rest continued in the sequel Overdrive.

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Bill Gates Speaks

"Bill Gates Speaks" book cover.

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Best-selling author Janet Lowe researched and transcribed Bill Gates quotes from articles, essays, interviews, and newscasts to create this one-of-kind authorized biography about the legendary businessman.

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Bill Gates' Personal Super-Secret Private Laptop

"Bill Gates' Personal Super Secret Private Laptop" book cover.

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Henry Beard and John Boswell wrote this humorous book about Bill Gates and Microsoft that folds out like a laptop. The left page is the screen and the right is the keyboard. Beard and Boswell are well-known parody writers and this book represents one of their best efforts.

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Billionaire Computer Genius

"Bill Gates Billionaire Computer Genius" book cover.

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This novel from Joan D. Dickinson is a great book for kids interested in the computer age revolution. It's also an unusual find for the younger reader. It's an easy-to-read biography about Bill Gates that tells the inspirational story of how he became a technology innovator and billionaire. It is fun and entertaining for kids and includes plenty of black-and-white photographs.

There are many books about one of the most successful businessmen in history. But only a select few provide meaningful insight into Bill Gates and his story of how he became who he is today. If you are a fan of this self-made billionaire, these are must-reads.


Gates, Bill. "Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy." Hardcover, Grand Central Publishing, March 1999.

Manes, Stephen and Paul Andrews. "How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry — and Made Himself the Richest Man in America." Simon & Schuster, January 1994.

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Bellis, Mary. "Top 10 Authorized and Unauthorized Books About Bill Gates." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, Bellis, Mary. (2020, August 28). Top 10 Authorized and Unauthorized Books About Bill Gates. Retrieved from Bellis, Mary. "Top 10 Authorized and Unauthorized Books About Bill Gates." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 1, 2023).