Fact Check: Bill Gates The Billionaire Is NOT On The Board Of Maricopa County

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: Bill Gates The Billionaire Is NOT On The Board Of Maricopa County Different Bill

Is Seattle billionaire Bill Gates now chairman of the Maricopa County, Arizona Board of Supervisors? No, that's not true: A representative for Maricopa County told Lead Stories that a different Bill Gates serves Maricopa County. Gates the billionaire and villain of many conspiracy theories, is a longtime resident of Seattle, where the company he co-founded, Microsoft, is headquartered.

The claim appeared in an Instagram post (archived here) where it was published on November 11, 2022. The post showed a Google results page after searching:

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

This is what the Instagram post looked like at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2022-11-12 at 10.45.53 AM.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Sat Nov 12 15:00:19 2022 UTC)

There is a sentence above the first result that reads, "As of November 2022, Bill Gates is the board's chairman." At the very bottom is a smiling picture of the Microsoft co-founder and co-owner, Bill Gates.

The Instagram post implies that the billionaire is now on the Board of Supervisors of Maricopa County, a hotly contested area of the country when it comes to elections.

Lead Stories has contacted Chairman Gates directly and Public Information Officers of Maricopa County. In a November 12, 2022, email, Jason Berry, a communications manager for Maricopa County, said this when asked if Bill Gates the billionaire was on the Maricopa Board of Supervisors:

They are two different people.

A reverse Google image search of the Bill Gates picture led Lead Stories to a 2017 article in The Independent that features this same photo. The caption from The Independent reads, "The tech entrepreneur has made huge donations to the school and university which his children have attended (Getty)".

Screen Shot 2022-11-12 at 11.21.55 AM.png

(Source: The Independent screenshot taken on Sat Nov 12 15:25:53 2022 UTC)

The Bill Gates that serves on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is clearly a different man. On the Maricopa County government website, a photo and biography can be seen for the Gates in Arizona. Gates is described as:

...the District 3 Supervisor for Maricopa County and is the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

His official photo can be found here:

Screen Shot 2022-11-12 at 12.19.45 PM.png

(Source: Maricopa.gov screenshot taken on Sat Nov 12 16:20:19 2022 UTC)

Here is a video of Chairman Gates on the verified Maricopa County Elections Department's Twitter account:

More Lead Stories fact checks about the tech entrepreneur Bill Gates are here, here and here.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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