Pictures of Bill Gates the child in a football uniform and alongside Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in their high school computer room are among 15 shots in an exclusive Fortune photo essay. Gates himself narrates the slideshow chronicling Microsoft’s roots, through its founding and 1986 IPO. Other shots show the first Microsoft business card and Gates signing autographs for Harley-Davidson fans in 1991.
“This is when I was in eighth grade and first figuring out how to use the computer,” says Gates of the picture with Allen. “A bunch of kids came down and were fascinated, but the two who really stuck to it the most were Paul and I. People thought it was strange that Paul kept talking to a kid who was two years younger.”