IMPACT
07/13/2010 04:09 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Gates Foundation: How Did It Become The World's Most Prominent Charity?

The headquarters of probably the most powerful charity in the world, and one of the most quietly influential international organisations of any sort, currently stand between a derelict restaurant and a row of elderly car repair businesses. Gentrification has yet to fully colonise this section of the Seattle waterfront, and even the actual premises of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which, appropriately perhaps, used to be a cheque-processing plant, retain a certain workaday drabness. Only four storeys high, with long rows of windows but no hint of corporate gloss, its beige and grey box sits anonymously in the drizzly northern Pacific light.

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