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>Subject: [GayArts] Microsoft Pioneer's Estate Gives $65M for Gay Rights,
>Microsoft Pioneer's Estate Gives $65M for Gay Rights, HIV/AIDS Groups
>The estate of Ric Weiland, a high school classmate of Microsoft Corp. founders
Bill Gates and Paul Allen and one of the first five people to work at the
software giant, has left $65 million to gay rights and HIV/AIDS organizations.
>The bequests were announced Sunday by the Pride Foundation of Seattle, where
Weiland was a board member for several years. The foundation called it the
largest single bequest ever given to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender
>Gates and Allen hired Weiland in 1975, the year they founded Microsoft. He
worked as a project leader for the Microsoft Works word processing and
spreadsheet software, and was a lead programmer and developer for the company's
BASIC and COBOL systems, two of the first personal computing interfaces. He left
Microsoft in 1988.
>Weiland donated tens of millions to various organizations -- from gay rights
groups to environmental and education organizations -- before he died in 2006.
He committed suicide at age 53 after a long battle with depression, and
survivors include his partner, Mike Schaefer.
>The $65 million is among bequests totaling about $160 million -- the bulk of
Weiland's estate -- to various charities and Stanford University, his
undergraduate alma mater, according to an estimate provided by the Pride
>In the latest bequest, the Pride Foundation said Weiland's estate had
established a fund at the foundation that would give $46 million over the next
eight years to 10 national gay rights and HIV/AIDS groups, including Lambda
Legal; the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; Parents, Families, and Friends
of Lesbians and Gays; the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation; and the
American Foundation for AIDS Research.
>His estate also bequeathed $19 million directly to the Pride Foundation for
scholarships and grants supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender
people in the Pacific Northwest. (Elizabeth M. Gillespie, AP)
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