A century from now, the Gates Foundation will be known for the human suffering it battled and hopefully defeated. Some of today's most insidious killers may be as non-existent as yesterday's botulism or bubonic plague.
The Gates Foundation, with an endowment of $25 billion, is the largest philanthropy in the world. One of the reasons it is viewed cynically is because some of its work appears to have strategic implications for Microsoft, such as the foundation's ownership of five percent of the broadband communications provider Cox Communications and the placement of 40,000 computers running Microsoft software in low-income and remote libraries in the U.S.
However, I'll certainly agree that the good works his fortune makes possible will outlive the backlash against Microsoft's monopolistic business practices, especially if his money produces dramatic successes such as a cure for malaria.