Jan 24, 2017 06:19 AM EST

Bill Gates Reveals How His 4th Grade Teacher Changed His Life

Before Bill Gates became one of the most successful and respected businessmen in the world, the 61-year-old revealed that he had some insecurities as a young boy. In his blog, the business magnate revealed how his 4th grade teacher had an impact on his formative years, and how she has helped him become the man he is today.

Gates said that his teacher, Blanche Caffiere, the “elegant and engaging school librarian at Seattle’s View Ridge Elementary,” helped him develop his passion for learning at a time when he could have gotten turned off by the school. At the time, the Microsoft co-founder said that he was trying to be invisible as he was well aware of his awkward ways.

“I was trying to hide the fact that I liked to read—something that was cool for girls but not for boys,” he revealed.

Gates said Caffiere took him under her wing and encouraged his love for books. The librarian started by asking him questions about the books he loves to read and would find him tomes that were more complex and challenging than the ones that he mentioned.

“[She] helped make it okay for me to be a messy, nerdy boy who was reading lots of books,” said Gates.

Today, the philanthropist supports libraries all over the US and Canada with his non-profit organization, the Gates Library Foundation. He and his wife, Melinda, partner with public libraries to bring computers and digital information to the communities they serve.

Though Gates has already left Microsoft and is busy with his charitable work, the entrepreneur still finds time to read. Last month, he revealed that his favorite books of 2016 are David Foster Wallace’s “String Theory,” Phil Knight’s “Shoe Dog,” Siddhartha Mukherjee’s “The Gene,” Archie Brown’s “The Myth of the Strong Leader,” and Gretchen Bakke’s “The Grid.”

Gates said that he has been reading a book a week since he was a young boy. He added that even when he’s extremely busy, he makes sure to “carve out a lot of time for reading.”

For more, check out Jobs & Hire’s report on Arianna Huffington’s tips on boosting productivity.

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