Top Authorized and Unauthorized Books on Bill Gates

Bill Gates
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates listens during a press conference to launch a plan aimed at saving 10 million mothers and newborns in the poorest countries. Cetty Images/Rick Gershon

Want to learn more about the enigmatic philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft? Here are the 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
Barbarians Led by Bill Gates. Henry Holt & Co

Authors: Jennifer Edstrom and Marlin Eller

Two insiders 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 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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Big Shots: Business the Bill Gates Way

Business the Bill Gates Way
Business the Bill Gates Way. John Wiley & Sons Inc

Author: Des Dearlove

Learn about the business success secrets that made Bill Gates rich. The book describes how Gates went from Harvard dropout to became one of the richest men in the world. This includes ten ways Bill Gates succeeded and how you could apply that learning 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 (A & E biography)

Bill Gates
Bill Gates. Lerner Pub Group

Author: Jeanne M. Lesinski

Part of the A & E biography series, this book is an easy and entertaining read about Bill Gates' life. The one hundred pages is packed with photos and gives an understanding of Gate's life from childhood to his latest charity as well as brushes with the Justice department. While other books may give more in-depth detail on different issues, this book gives readers a great overview.

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Overdrive: Bill Gates and the Race to Control Cyberspace

Overdrive. John Wiley & Sons Inc

Author: James Wallace

Focusing on the years between 1992 and 1997, 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 expose of the latter years of Bill Gates’' life.

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Business @ the Speed of Thought

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Author: Bill Gates

An 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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Gates: How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry

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Authors: Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews

The authors' 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 that 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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Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire

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Authors: James Wallace and Jim Erickson

The book 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 employer 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

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Author: Janet C. Lowe

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. Businessweek says, "Bill Gates Speaks has "...plenty of engrossing material. And, toward the end, we learn about Gates the human being -- who gamely sang, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" on national TV at Barbara Walters' bidding."

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Bill Gates' Personal Super-Secret Private Laptop

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Authors: Henry Beard and John Boswell  

This is a 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. Amazon Books compares it to the classic Mad Magazine satires of the 60s and 70s. Beard and Boswell are well-known parody writers and this book represents one of their best effort to date.

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Bill Gates: Billionaire Computer Genius (People to Know)

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Author: Joan D. Dickinson.

Reading level: Young Adult. –

This is a great book for kids interested in the computer age revolution and 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 the self-made millionaire, make sure to add these must-reads to your collection.