Famous Thinkers Paper


Famous Thinkers


Two famous thinkers are Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and William ‘Bill’ Gates. I admire these two famous thinkers for the impact and influence they both have had on society. These two famous thinkers have contributed and positively affected many lives past and present. Both famous thinkers had to overcome hardships and use their creative minds to deal with challenges, obstacles, and issues. These two have changed and created their own history and legacy, which will be written in history books for the world to see.


Contributions to Society


Born Michael King Jr. in 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the most recognized civil rights leader in history. His father was Baptist minister and raised him to follow in his footsteps as a minister as well. During the civil rights movement Dr. King headed a crusade to help Americans to gain the same human rights, despite their origin or skin color. Dr. King had numerous contributions to society and is remembered for his non-violent movement. Dr. King was honored most for his heroic civil rights activism in the United States as well as a prophet of peace and justice in a world torn by Vietnam. Dr. King led the fight in 1956 to desegregate the bus lines in Montgomery, Alabama. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference appointed him the head position, which was to create racial equality throughout the country using non- violence. Dr. King was most famous for the march on Washington in 1963, where he gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech (Kersey, 2012) In 1964 Dr. King was the youngest to win the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35. Dr. King was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968.
Born William Gates in Seattle, Washington in 1955, he is known to households as Bill. Bill is known around the world as a self -made multi-billionaire as well as a known philanthropist. Bill Gates has given 65% of his billions to his organization Bill and Melinda Gates, which was created by him and his wife Melinda (2004, Dec.) The main focus on the Gates’ foundation and their public awareness work includes global health and population control programs, increased library technology, minority scholarships, and education reform (2004, Dec.) He plans to give away up to 95% of his riches by the time he passes away. He is well known for the creation of Microsoft. Microsoft is the leader of all computer software and used by almost everyone all over the world.


Personal/Social/Political Environments


Dr. King attended and received a degree in Sociology from Morehouse College at the age of 19. He attended Crozer Theological Seminary and later completed his doctorate at Boston University. Dr. King helps the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, authorizing the federal government to enforce desegregation in publicly owned facilities. He also helped the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. His ‘I Have a Dream’ speech at the March on Washington changed the lived and captured the hearts of many people. Dr. King fought for equality for Whites and Blacks. Dr. King promoted non- violence even when he lost support of some of his followers because he refused to retaliate against violent acts, Dr. King would still continue to lead peaceful marches (Kersey, 2012) Dr. King was a very powerful man and many feared him because he was so powerful. His actions and creative thought process is why a black man such as himself can now sit in a classroom with a white classmate. His strength, courage and drive are the reasons we are able to have equal rights no matter our origin and the color of our skin.

At the early age of 13 Bill Gates found an interest in computers. He created his first program in prep school when he designed a tic-tac-toe game for his peers. Bill would later be co-founder of Microsoft which is the largest software company in the world (Wirthman, 1998) Bill is one of the greatest philanthropists in the world. Bill followed in the footsteps of his mom being a community activist. Bill involves himself with issues that dealt with health, education and information technology. He gives millions of dollars to create scholarships and research projects every year. Without Bills innovative approach, technology would not be at the level it is today. He is a giving noble individual who prides on helping and giving back to what he believes in (Riepe, 2002) His scholarship programs have helped numerous low income families obtain a college degree.


Problems and/or Issues


Dr. King devoted most of his life to solving problems. His main problem was fighting for racial equality. The struggle for racial equality has been an issue Dr. King faced as a child and as an adult. He believed he could desegregate the nation. Life as we know it would not exist if Dr. King did not take the initiative to fight for racial equality.

Bill Gates had a different but similar issue. He wanted to change the community for everyone just like Dr. King but his way would be financially giving to the community to help aid the less fortunate. He also develops software used to solve problems for everyday people and everyday business. His Microsoft programs are designed to be guidelines for helping individuals create individuality and stay organized.




Dr. King’s approach to his problems was to motivate people to stand up and demonstrate for their legal rights but in a non-violent way. He led his people on marches and rallies to fight for what they legally deserved. He established the Southern Christian Leadership Convention and together with his civil rights leaders, he would travel around the country leading demonstrations.

Bill has created numerous software programs to help solve problems. He started in the late 70s when he created application programs for MIT and the early 80s for IBM. After he started Microsoft, he created the William H. Gates Corporation which he used to funnel billions of dollars around the world in support of education, technology, and health care advancement.


The Creative Process


Dr. King did not have to search for a challenge. Racial inequality existed everywhere in the United States. Slavery was abolished in 1865 but Blacks still had nowhere near as many rights and privileges as Whites.

Bill Gates dedicated his life as well as search for problems he could solve. His challenges started with the finding ways to solve computers problems and issues. His other challenge was generating foundations that benefit the less fortunate.




Dr. King expressed his issues verbally and building a following of individuals willing to follow his lead. He had rallies, marches, demonstrations; sit ins, etc. to express his issue.

Bill Gates did not express his issues verbally; he would attack his issues by creating programs to fix the problem he found. Many of his problems could be improved because they were self though problems.




Dr. King would study and research prior to expressing his issue. He would make sure he had all the facts to back up his arguments while heading these rallies and demonstrations. He would gather the laws to stand behind his cause.

Bill Gates did not have a way to investigate his computer issues because computers were at such an early state that he would learn through the hit or miss process. He would fix problems as he created problems.


Producing Ideas


Dr. King spent his entire life developing ideas in his attempt to inspire his people so stand up for what they believe in. He followed his beliefs of a non-violent movement, which he stuck with at every event.

Bill Gates only job was to develop ideas and concepts. His creations were new and there were no standards to follow behind. He discovered new ideas and techniques that became the standard for others.




There is no critiquing when it comes to these two great thinkers. Both have contributed so much to society. Both have built legacies that will stand in the history books forever. Bill Gates has created computer programs that will forever help individuals create and navigate on a computer. Dr. King has changed the world with his for civil rights and human equality. Their contributions to society have changed how we deal with our fellow peers and we use computers. Both individuals used selfless acts to help establish life as it exists today. The only thing that I could see that could be different would be if they both could have lived at the same time and worked together. Bill Gates fortune would have helped Dr. King not fight so hard and with Dr. King’s drive and ambition, Bill Gates would have known his true passion was to help the human society.




Bill gates goes GM. (2004, Dec). The Ecologist, 33, 6. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/234920557?accountid=458

Kersey, L., & Harris, A. J. (2012, Jan 14). MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: The Charleston Gazette. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/916246240?accountid=458

Riepe, M. W. (2002). Diversification, vegetables and bill gates. Journal of Financial Planning, 15(5), 36-38. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/217538832?accountid=458

Wirthman, L. (1998, Sep 15). Leaders & success microsoft’s bill gates. Investor’s Business Daily. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/250302068?accountid=458



Famous Thinkers