Bill Gates Sr., father of Microsoft co-founder, dies at 94

NEW YORK - JUNE 02: Bill Gates, Sr. attends Bill Gates: A Conversation with My Father at the 92nd Street Y on June 2, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)

William H. Gates II, a lawyer and philanthropist best known as the father of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has died at 94.

Gates died peacefully Monday at his beach home in Washington state from Alzheimer’s disease, the family announced Tuesday.

In an obituary the family credited the patriarch with a “deep commitment to social and economic equity,” noting that he was responsible for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s first efforts to improve global health as well as his advocacy for progressive taxation, especially unsuccessful efforts to pass a state income tax on the wealthy in Washington.

“My dad’s wisdom, generosity, empathy, and humility had a huge influence on people around the world,” Bill Gates wrote in a tribute.