A total science nerd who was perpetually picked second-to-last for teams in gym class, Tim Gill's first love was computers. His second love turned out to be men, and in college when he called his conservative Republican parents to tell them he was gay, they suggested he see a psychiatrist. (It was 1972 and the APA still treated homosexuality as a mental disorder.)
ìEventually his parents came around, joined PFLAG, and his mother went back to college for an M.A. in counseling. His parents also lent him $2,000 to start his own software company, Quark, which had an early success, then nearly went bankrupt, forcing him to fire half his staff, but later rebounded nicely, giving him a personal fortune of nearly half a billion dollars.
A successful software entrepreneur, and only one of two openly gay individuals on the 1997 Forbes 400 list, Tim Gill is an active philanthropist who cares passionately about many issues. Through both his philanthropy and socially conscious business practices, Tim is setting a powerful example by valuing all people for their unique talents, backgrounds and skills. Through the Gill Foundation, Tim provides millions of dollars annually to gay and lesbian and HIV/AIDS organizations along with other charitable causes.
Tim has always been an advocate for civil rights. In addition to funding the gay and lesbian movement by supporting hundreds of national and local organizations, he is also a strong supporter of social justice organizations and educational institutions. Tim was one of the first major contributors to the Colorado AIDS Project and has long supported local public radio and television through program underwriting.
In 1997, Gill took on Amendment Two in Colorado, which abolished all laws protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination, he spent $40,000 to fund a campaign to defeat the amendment (and won).
As founder and former Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Quark, Inc., a successful desktop and internet software company, Tim was recognized as an innovative business leader in America. Tim founded Quark, Inc. in 1981 with a $2,000 loan from his parents, and worked to build Quark into a leading developer of page layout software for the high-end graphics market.
Through the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado, established by the Gill Foundation, Tim has provided financial support to numerous organizations which serve the general public, such as $100,000 to the American Red Cross for flood relief in Fort Collins, Colorado, and more than $50,000 to the Colorado Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Prior to creating the Gill Foundation, Tim contributed more than $800,000 to his alma mater, the University of Colorado at Boulder, including the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory in the School of Engineering. At CU-Boulder, Tim has also supported programs for women and minorities in engineering.
Creator of the Gill Foundation, which to date has granted more than $19 million and provided technical assistance to hundreds of organizations serving LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities; #6 on the gfn.com (Gay Financial Network) 1999 list of the 25 most influential out gay and lesbian executives in corporate America, and one of the 2001 gfn.com 25.
Tim and his partner Scott Miller have been together since 2002 and share houses in Denver and Aspen. Apparently their parties during Aspen's gay ski week and for Halloween at the Coors Field parking lot, called Hellywood, are very, very fun.