Exclusive: Bill Gates Gives Back

"Nightline's" Bill Weir talks with Microsoft founder about funding charities.
0:53 | 01/24/12

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Transcript for Exclusive: Bill Gates Gives Back
He made tens of billions as a computer industry pioneer and entrepreneur but somehow Bill Gates is found ever more challenging problems to tackle. -- Mighty Ducks and Michael uncle co anchor Bill -- about his work to heal the world in tonight's Nightline in. As of tonight Bill Gates is no longer the world's wealthiest man but he didn't lose that title he gave it away. And as a result he can point to a different kind of scoreboard. How many lives do you think you've -- citizens. The web's easiest to -- and health work. -- over five million. Lives have been saved yes the cutthroat businessman who once lived to release software. Is now more apt to release dates are full of mosquitoes to help raise malaria awareness that -- let. But those roam around India. Out of time a little -- There -- stories and only four people should have to have extra. And you may laugh when bloggers claim that he is better than bat man but it's hard to find another single person who's done more to ease human suffering. -- almost eradicated polio. From India there was one case in a country of a billion people last year. Yeah outside January 13 2011. That's how you -- over year. No polio cases in India. And -- ten countries laughed. That still -- polio we're very close with a promise to give away 95%. Of their personal wealth bill and his wife Melinda foundation has granted over 26 billion dollars over the years. But their mission to save the world may get a lot more controversial. With the release of his newest annual letter which describes a plan. To feed the world's exploding population with more genetically modified crops. I found this one -- that can survive plugging and so they wanted to take the Jeanne how. And put -- -- with all the good things -- GM -- these are seeds built in labs designed to grow stronger and more abundant crops but by tinkering with nature. Some worry they could accidentally spread disease super weeds and mutant insects. Several countries around the world refused to grow them. Still the gates foundation reportedly invested 27 million dollars in Biotech giant Monsanto. A leader in genetically. Modified crops the question is can these countries have their ability. To choose -- something's going to prevent starvation. And they see that the risks are extremely -- can -- as a country. Opt -- choice big companies like Monsanto. They have the patents not only on the seeds but the weed killer and so farmers both an American and India. That have to buy. Both in order to survive it's very expensive the seeds were working on for the poor countries there's absolutely no payments no royalties have been inclined we. Go to the big companies and say. Will you help us. And so they they donated the -- -- -- also has an interesting ideas on how to fix American schools starting with peer review. He wants to let the top 2% of teachers float from class to class teaching other teachers what works and what does it. So you think good teachers. Can be made -- not born that way. What we continued the ones that are born outlet -- -- there are planning and nose and yes we can't make you top 5%. But we can move you from average and help those teachers and crew. There's been a little bit of distance. Now since the passing of Steve Jobs I'm really intrigued by the anecdote at the end of Walter Isaacson spoke about hello. In his final moments you came to his house. And the two of you spent couple hours together reminiscing and and really made peace and I always enjoyed talking and he. In it would throw some things out some stimulating things we talk about the other companies that come along. Now we talked about our families and a lucky we've both been in terms of the women we married now was great. And a great relaxed conversation -- his passing effect. -- it's very strange. To have somebody who's so vibrant and meets -- huge difference -- -- you know kind of caught some presents. It makes you feel like while we're. We're getting nibbled then you look back in. And think about the great opportunities we. A big impact. Does it give you any added sense of urgency -- -- quite a bit of time for the the focus I have now it's -- the Philanthropic work you gotta stay healthy and see that I opening. -- -- eradication I need a couple decades here took that -- -- That opportunity. Site you know I don't think of myself as fading away. But in -- reminds you that you got to pick pick important stopped because they only have a limited time.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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