During a question and answer session on the news and discussion site Reddit on Feb. 27, Gates was asked whether he ever disguises himself “and just walk[s] around incognito.” In response, he wrote: “I sometimes wear a hat. For example when I did college tours with my son I wanted the focus to be totally on him. A lot less people recognize me when I have a hat on or else they realize I am trying to be incognito.”
However, the Microsoft co-founder added that when people do recognize him they are mostly “super nice” so it is not a burden to be noticed most of the time.
A number of Reddit users expressed surprise that such a simple disguise can be so effective. “I can’t believe that actually works,” wrote one. “We all made fun of Marvel movies for using this as a disguise but here we are.”
Gates, who co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, also answered questions about what he considers to be his greatest achievement (“the chance to be part of the software revolution empowering people”) and advice that he would give to his 19-year-old self (“I would explain that smartness is not single dimensional and not quite as important as I thought it was back then”). He also answered whether he could still jump over an office chair from a standing position.