In a lot of ways, Bill Gates isn't that much different from the average American. He begins his day with a cup of coffee and the hope that he makes it to his first meeting on time. On the other hand, he has the luxury of avoiding long lines at airport security checkpoints. During an on-stage interview with CNN's Sanjay Gupta, MD, at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Monday, the multi-billionaire revealed several fun facts about himself.
1. He Skips the Most Important Meal of the Day.
When asked to describe the first hour of his day, Gates admitted that he doesn't typically eat breakfast. "I get up, have a cup of coffee, and hope to make it to my first appointment on time," he said.
2. He's Not Good at Firing People.
There are those in the 1% bracket whose most famous words are "you're fired." But when asked what occupations would most appeal to him if he were to begin a new career path, Gates admitted that he is not good at firing people, so he wouldn't want to be in a position that would require him to do so. He also wouldn't want to be a salesperson who had to meet a particular sales quota on a regular basis. Actually, when it comes down to it, Gates said he's pretty darn spoiled in a job that allows him to learn new things and meet new people, so "most jobs would not be attractive to me."
3. He'll Probably Never Run for President
Gates teasingly said that the term length for serving as president of the United States is "too short" so that job is probably not for him either. If the term length was extended to, say, six years? Well, then he might consider, he joked.
4. He Never Flies Commercial
When asked what his greatest extravagance is, Gates admitted that he never uses commercial airlines.
5. He Almost Gave Up on Polio
"Polio eradication has been much tougher than was expected," Gates said.
When the World Health Assembly set a goal in 1988 to eliminate the disease and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched, it was expected to be completed by the year 2000. In reality, it ended up taking much longer than that, and at times those like Gates who were fighting to eradicate Polio questioned whether or not they should continue to work on that initiative.
"But we doubled down in 2007 and kept going," Gates said.
India finally stopped the virus in 2011, and today, polio is found only in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria, according to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2016, there were fewer than 40 cases reported globally.