Infographic Of The Day: Bill Gates Is A Better Superhero Than Batman

He may not know jujitsu or have a rocket-proof car, but he has saved nearly 6 million lives through philanthropic activities.

Bill Gates is no Steve Jobs. He’s not a charismatic showman or messianic artist-technologist. He’s something arguably better than that: He’s an action hero. Who else but a comic-book superhuman could claim credit for saving nearly six million lives? Such is the argument made by a handsome infographic created by Frugaldad.com called "Redefining Action Hero: Bill Gates is Better than Batman." (Actually it’s more like one of those long-scrolling graphic slideshows than a true infographic, but we’ll let this one slide.)

Obviously, Bill Gates didn’t literally save every one of those lives with his own two bare hands; Frugal Dad is making a point about the impact of Gates’s philanthropic organization, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is dedicated to (among other things) eradicating diseases like malaria, whooping cough, and yellow fever. According to the sources cited, Mr. Gates’s philanthropic giving is directly responsible for saving 5,812,000 lives "by bringing vaccines and improved health care to children internationally"—and possibly 7.6 million by 2019, "all children under five." When you put it that way, Gates sounds better than Superman, Jesus, and Santa Claus put together, not just Batman.

It’s rather amazing that Gates has given $28 billion to charity so far, $2 billion more than the U.S. budget for foreign aid—part of a commitment to disbursing at least half his entire net worth within his own lifetime. But it’s not only about writing checks. According to the graphic, Gates created a multiplier on his own capital in the form of The Gavi Alliance, which brings the influence of UNICEF, the United Nations, and the World Bank to bear on pharmaceutical companies with the goal of getting them to lower the cost of lifesaving drugs. Cheaper vaccines mean more people (especially children) in developing nations don’t die of diseases the rest of us never have to worry about. The alliance successfully pushed the cost of a rotavirus vaccine down by 99%.

Not to be a jerk, but there’s no record of Steve Jobs—the saint to Gates’s Satan in the minds of many—giving a cent to philanthropic causes during his lifetime. So it’s great to see a less obviously charismatic (or even sympathetic) figure like Gates getting his due from someone in the design community. Both of these men were technology visionaries whose companies changed the world, but only one of them arguably changed the world more after he left his company behind.

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47 Comments

  • Henry Jewkes

    Gotham City is based on New York, which has 22 million people. Batman saved all of Gotham on multiple occasions. Don't mess with Batman...

  • Tazbilly2002

    Carnegie isn't really a good comparison. He donated his wealth out of crushing guilt from exploiting his workers which frequently led to injury and death.

  • Rob Lindman

    bill gates and microsoft did everything they could to bring in workers on H1 visas. 

  • Goodman Brown

    I get this is about why Bill Gates is awesome - which he is. But I find it hard to believe that John Rockefeller should be up there with them. That guy was ruthless, he pretty much drove the rest of the oil companies into the ground or forced them to merge. Pretty sure the statistic was somewhere in the 90 percent of oil refineries were owned by Rockie over there.

    He didn't get rich for being a nice guy, to say the least. I'm just sayin'... Gates is pretty much not as much of an asshole as John Rockefeller could be.

  • Aviatorasim

    i salute this hero, but what if jobs had made anonymous donations! we shouldn't speak of what is not known. may bill gates have a blessed healthy life, and may jobs RIP.

  • Shamata

    To be fair, Batman saved about 12 million people from a nuclear bomb in the latest Batman movie. But Bill Gates is really awseome as well.

  • Hoh220

    how many people does it say this fucker kill from these vaccines that contain the live polio virus

  • racingfreak92

    All vaccines work this way and KILL far less then 1% of all people who receive it. Id take my chances.

    Idiot.

  • thepseudozombie

    Wow. Speechless.
    Only if all those shallow-ass celebrities with 9 houses, 27 cars and god-doesn't-know-how-many million dollars did something like this, the world would be so much better for every human being... Learn something, please.

  • MrT

    Just finished the Jobs biography and if Jobs did donate to philanthropic causes, I think it would have been noted there, but nothing is mentioned.

  • Michael Han

    And there are thousands, if not in millions, of nameless volunteers and innovators who are at the front lines helping the poor and the needy. Let's not forget them and join the fray of life at its best.

  • riceryder

    +1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 GATES!

  • Jonathan Kolanowski

    John- Good post. I am sorry to see that so many completely missed the point.  gets it. He is living by example when it comes to philanthropy, not bragging. All the other nonsense is irrelevant to this post. Some of it has its place, just not here.

  • Paul Vasquez

    There was actually an article sometime back in which Jobs actually said he didn't give philanthropically. It's disgusting the praise given to that man for nothing more than materialistic and selfish pursuits.

  • Rob Lindman

    oh, and putting his name on the top of the foundation, that's selfless? i gave 5 bucks to a homeless guy a while back, which was actually more than half of what I had. I didn't start a foundation. i wouldn't even mention it here except in the course of the discussion it seems appropriate.

  • JON

    Just a little irritated at the comments, bill and jobs will alwaysbe compared even now that jobs has passed on. Steve didnt make it public that he gave anything away, which yes may be a weird sweet thing where many would applaud that but steve also knowingly ran a company that is known for having some of the highest rates of chinese child labor in the world. Take the good WITH the bad. They will always be compared because they were rivals and yet good friends.

    Quit thinking of Steve as a God, he didnt single handedly invent anything, he had the idea of thd iPod then the company just built off of that idea, and resold it every year since.

  • Rob Lindman

    as i said before, microsoft -> h1 visa factory. anything to make a buck, apparently so you can applaud yourself later when you give away the interest.