The most universally recognized words might be ‘ok’ and ‘Coca-Cola’, but who are the most recognizable faces right now in the world? There seems to be no definitive answer, but some names have been put forward. Queen Elizabeth is up there, as is Mickey Mouse and Barack Obama, but if you believe one poll, the German dictator Adolf Hitler is the world’s most recognizable face followed by the likes of Lady Gaga and Harry Potter. Two people not mentioned are probably two of the most talked about men in the world, one an American business tycoon turned President, and the other an innovator who changed the face of computer technology. The former is known to talk a lot about his successes, and the latter seems reserved about being the richest man on planet Earth. Today we will compare the two, in this episode of the Infographics Show, Donald Trump vs. Bill Gates.
We’ll start with a short biography of each man.
Donald John Trump, real-estate mogul, reality TV star, and the 45th president of the United States, was born on June 14th 1946 in Queens, New York. The fourth of five children, little Donald was apparently pushed hard by his father Fred, who was a successful property developer born in the Bronx to German immigrant parents. It’s said Fred met Donald’s Scottish-born mother, Mary Anne Trump, on a dance floor…the preface to the creation of a future billionaire and US president.
At an early age Trump was transferred to New York Military Academy so that he might develop his behavior. He was apparently good in school, and also stubborn. One of his childhood teachers has been quoted as saying, “Who could forget him? He was headstrong and determined.” She also called him “surly”. Trump went on to become a captain in Military school – something he’s said to be very proud of – and was good at sports, excelling at baseball, football and soccer. Trump went on to study at Fordham, a Jesuit Catholic university, and later the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. The New York Times and other media has said Trump graduated first in his class. This has been disputed by people citing Penn records, but also by some of his former classmates.
Bill Gates was born on October 28th, 1955, in Seattle. The second of three children, Bill’s father, also named Bill Gates, was a lawyer. Bill’s mother, Mary, was a successful businesswoman. In terms of ancestry, Mr. Gates and Mr. Trump share something in common in that they both have some Scottish and German blood, with Gates also having English, Irish and Scots-Irish ancestry.
As you’ll know from our other show on Bill Gates, he was something of an iconoclast from an early age, never far away from trouble but always proving he was a step ahead. At his school, Lakeside Prep, Gates wrote a computer vs. human game of tic-tac-toe when most people hardly knew what a computer was. Even though a mere child, the school hired him to write programs for the admin department, only for him to rig the program so that his class was full of girls.
At the age of just 17, he was writing code with co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, and making almost the yearly average wage for an American family. Gates scored 1590 on his SATs, putting him in the 99th percentile of students in the USA. It’s not surprising then that Gates was given a place at the prestigious Ivy League Harvard University. He didn’t last long, however, and dropped out. “I love being a student,” Gates once said when asked about his departure from Harvard. But Gates was what is known as an auto-didact, meaning he educated himself by reading around 50 books a year on many different subjects. His grades were good at Harvard, although he admits he didn’t turn up to classes. At age 20 he started Microsoft with Paul Allen.
Before we delve further into matters of business and success, let’s see how these two industrious heavyweights match-up physically, and to some extent, mentally.
Bill Gates is a fairly average guy when it comes to matters of the body. He stands five feet nine and a half inches tall (177 cm), a little over the American average, and he weighs less than the average American at around 141 pounds (64 kilos). Gates has light brown hair, blue eyes, and he wears size nine shoes.
As for Donald Trump, his physicality is not exactly average. According to News Week, Trump has been adding on the pounds since his presidency, but the article didn’t give an exact weight. It’s thought he is overweight though, weighing in at around 236 pounds (107 kilos). His driver’s license says he’s 6 foot 2 (190 cm), so his slightly heavy frame isn’t too much of a bad thing but still puts him in the “obese” bracket. His shoe size is thought to be a 12. Trump has blue eyes. As for his hair, that’s somewhat of a mystery. A yellowish-blond color, it’s not known if he wears a toupee, has hair plugs, or if his unusual hairstyle is a construction employing the comb-over technique. He has in the past strenuously declared that he does not wear a toupee. “It’s my hair, I swear,” he said at a 2015 campaign speech, and even had female members of the audience get on stage to check.
As for what lies under the hair, Gates has refuted rumors stating he has an IQ of 160, although he did once admit in an interview that he always did well on such tests. It has been reported that Trump’s IQ is 156, although this was an outside estimate based on his getting into Wharton. According to Snopes this isn’t reliable, as Trump didn’t go through the admissions process. Trump himself hasn’t publicly given a number, although he did once famously say on Twitter: “My I.Q. is one of the highest – and you all know it!”
Both these men excel in making money. Gates is the world’s richest man with a worth of around 89.8 billion dollars. This is way more than Trump, who some sources say is worth around 3.9 billion dollars, even though Forbes said 3.5 billion in February . Gates made his first big bucks when in the 80s he built IBM’s MS-DOS operating system. He kept the copyright, which would lead to the first Windows operating system. 90 percent of PCs globally would soon run this 99 dollar OS, and Gates was already a rich man. When Microsoft went public in 1986, Gates made the Forbes 400 with his 318 million. At age 38 he was the richest man in America with 9.35 billion, and after the release of Internet Explorer a year later in 1995 Gates became the richest man in the world with $12.9 billion. Tens years later he was worth $48 billion.
Trump’s success is a little harder to sequence. When he took control of his father’s business and renamed it the Trump Organization he already had a fair bit of money. While he made money from successful property deals in Manhattan, Trump also bought TV shows, sports teams, beauty pageants and fashion brands. In the early 90s Trump was close to bankruptcy, owing something in the region of 5 billion dollars. A few years later things turned around, and the Trump brand was back in business. Even the TV series The Apprentice was said to have pulled in 214 million dollars.
71-year old Trump has five children and is currently in his third marriage. His youngest child is Barron, who is now 11 years old. By comparison, Gates may seem rather conservative, having gotten married just the once and had 3 children.
As for religion, Trump was born into a Presbyterian family, although religion didn’t focus too much in his presidential campaign. When once asked about God, Trump replied, “Well I say God is the ultimate. … Nobody, no thing, no there’s nothing like God.” Gates has been vaguer about the religion issue, once saying, “The mystery and the beauty of the world is overwhelmingly amazing, and there’s no scientific explanation of how it came about.”
As for hobbies and habits, Donald Trump will not touch a drop of alcohol. He once said if kids do drugs or drink they will be, “at a tremendous disadvantage and ultimately they may not recover.” It seems Gates has a beer now and again, and in 1996 in an interview with Playboy he alluded to the fact he’d taken LSD.
When not drinking beer or being President, both men love playing golf. According to reports Gates has a handicap of 24.1, while Trump is quite the golfer with a legitimate handicap of 3.7. At the end of the day, Trump could return to the White House, or one of several properties, including a three-level penthouse in Trump Tower or his Palm Beach 128-room Mar-a-Lago mansion. Gates’ main house is a 120 million dollar mansion in King County, Medina. There Bill might eat Thai and Indian food, which according to a Reddit Q&A are his favorites, and settle down to some of his favorite tunes in Jimmy Hendrix, Queen, U2 and The Beatles. It seems Trump would prefer a night in with a well-done steak, some KFC, or a pizza – leaving the crust. He’d wash that down with a diet Coke to the sounds of Elton John, Aerosmith or Twisted Sister.
On this musical note, we’ll end the show. What do you think about these two very different men? Let us know in the comments!