Gabe Logan Newell was born on the 3rd of November in 1962 in Colorado, USA. Along the way, he moved to California, where he attended Davis Senior High School in Davis, California. His first job was delivering newspapers, and his second job was delivering telegrams for Western Union. From there, Newell enrolled in Harvard University in 1980.
While attending Harvard, Newell decided to visit his brother who had recently joined the ranks of Microsoft, and Newell says this about his experience:
The most valuable educational experience for me was sort of the nontraditional one. I was going to university and went out to visit my brother. He just started at this new software company, which was the third largest software company on the East side of Lake Washington, and I was going out to visit him, and all of a sudden he was working all the time. So rather than hanging out with me and seeing the Space Needle, I was just hanging out with him at work. Steve Ballmer, who's currently the president, got mad that I was distracting him and said, “Well, if you're going to be spending all your time hanging out here, you need to do something useful.” Those first three months, when I was working with people like Tom Corbett and Neil Konzen and Steve Wood, were probably the most intense and valuable educational experience I've ever had. They sort of showed me how to be a professional software developer. You know, it was an incredibly vast and really significant set of lessons that I learned…
Not to bang on Harvard, but I learned more in three months with those guys at Microsoft than I did in the entire time I was at Harvard. At Harvard, I learned how to drink beer while doing a headstand in the snow. Which, you know, is a useful skill, but not nearly as useful as how to actually develop software and think about how small group and large group processes affect applications.