Heroes of Our Time


Heroes form a vital part of society. Heroes are respected and honored for their ambitions and sacrifices. True heroism is not the urge to surpass all others, but they need to serve others at whatever cost. Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey offer a perfect example of the real heroes in the modern world. Their achievements and humanitarian contribution have changed the lives of millions of people living in different parts of the world. Heroism is realizing the need in society and striving hard to impact social change irrespective of individuals' level of social or economic affluence. This article will compare the heroic deeds of Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates.

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Bill Gates

Bill Gates was born in 1955 in Seattle, Washington in a family with rich political, business, and community service backgrounds. Gates started to show interest in computer programming at the tender age of 13 at Lakeside school (Lesinski, 2000). As a result, he pursued his passion in college and Harvard University. Since childhood, Gates was an intelligent, ambitious, and competitive person. These attributes enabled him to rise to his current position (Dearlove, 2010). Bill Gates and his new friends in the college showed a lot of interest in computers, an aspect that led to the formation of the programs Group in 1986. In 1970, at the age of 15, Gates and Allen started a business and developed Traf-o-Data, a software that monitored the traffic pattern in Seattle, an effort that netted $20,000. Although Bill Gates went to university, he never completed his studies, and together with his friend Paul Allen, they started Microsoft, a blend of microcomputer and software. The company made Bill Gates one of the richest businessmen in the history of the world.

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Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey was born in Mississippi in 1954. She was brought up from a very humble background by her grandmother (Krohn & Cosgrove, 2005). Oprah spent six years in rural poverty and reading the bible and attending school was the most important part of her life. She started her career in broadcasting by learning how to read and perform recitation at the age of 3 (Krohn & Cosgrove, 2005). Oprah was hired by Nashville's WTVF-TV at the tender age of 20. She became not only the first African-American anchor but also the youngest one. However, Oprah entered national television at the age of 21 and subsequently rose in rank to host one of the most successful talks shows Oprah Winfrey Show. Despite coming from a disadvantaged background, Oprah Winfrey has significantly influenced film and television programs. Currently, Oprah ranks as one of the most influential women with more than $2.5 billion worth of assets. Besides, Oprah has committed most of her wealth to humanitarian causes (Davis, 2011).

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Causes that led Bill and Oprah to Become Heroes

Oprah's youth life has significantly defined the person she has become and the overall impact on society today. Early trauma resulting from multiple sexual cases of abuse gave her the tool and strength to become a hero. In numerous interviews, Oprah has indicated that her course has been about to recover from sexual abuse (Garson, 2011). As a result, she initiated a campaign to institute a national database for convicted child abuse in 1991. Oprah has used her humble background and meteoric rise to power and influence as a way of motivating and encouraging people to overcome life challenges through her talk show. Bill Gates's success in the technological field has significantly defined his life as a hero. His contribution towards enhancing life efficiency has influenced his generous support of educational programs that support innovation. Furthermore, Bill Gates's life was determined by the demise of his mother, a former civil servant who succumbed to cancer (Dearlove, 2010). In the need to fill his mother's role, he began to realize the need to dedicate some of his wealth to charity work. Furthermore, being a perfect student, Bill Gates pursued philanthropic work at Andre Carnegie, an aspect that led to the establishment of the foundation.

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Oprah and Bills Impacts on the Society

As Oprah Winfrey's wealth and influence increased, so was her commitment to assisting the disadvantaged in society. Oprah has a significant impact on the lives of millions of people (Garson, 2011). In 2000, Oprah's Angel Network provided more than $ 100, 000 to an individual who assists in improving the lives of others. Furthermore, she has donated more than $50 million to charity work including more than 50 local organizations such as AIDS foundations (Davis, 2011). She has used her influence and power to remind the world of the AIDS pandemic in South Africa. Bill Gates has also changed the lives of many people through his technological revolution that affect the technical aspect of every business. For instance, the use of Microsoft Office has significantly transformed learning and business operations all over the world. Virtually all computers used in the modern world are equipped with MS Office, a Microsoft product (Isaacs, 2010). Furthermore, through Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill has supported the effort to enhance the lives of millions of poor people in the different parts of the world. The organization supports different key social areas such as education and health in low-income communities. Bill started by donating more than $28 billion to the foundation (Isaacs, 2010).


In conclusion, it is evident that heroism is not defined by individuals' wealth and affluence, but his contribution toward bettering the lives of other people. Both Bill and Oprah have gone the extra mile towards caring for the well-being of others, not simply by donating their money, but by being deeply involved in such initiatives. Their love, generosity, and commitment to inspiration have been overwhelming all over the continent, thus truly depicting the true characters of heroes.

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