Tim Gill

Last updated
Tim Gill
Born (1953-10-18) October 18, 1953 (age 69)
Education University of Colorado, Boulder (BS)
Occupation(s)Founder of the Gill Foundation and Quark, Inc.
Known forPhilanthropy
LGBTQ Rights Activism
Computer Software Programming
Spouse Scott Miller

Tim Gill (born October 18, 1953) is an American computer software programmer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and LGBTQ rights activist. He was among the first openly gay people to be on the Forbes 400 list of America's richest people. [1]


He is the founder and co-chair of the Gill Foundation, a private Denver-based philanthropic organization supporting efforts to secure nationwide civil rights for LGBTQ Americans. [2] As of 2019, he was the single largest individual donor to the LGBTQ rights movement in U.S. history, having personally committed more than $500 million since the early 1990s. [3]

Gill is also the founder of the pioneering page layout software company Quark, Inc. [2] Gill sold his fifty percent stake in the company in 1999 for a reported $500 million. Following the sale of his stake in Quark, Inc., Gill set aside sixty percent of his assets – more than $300 million – to fight for LGBTQ rights. [4]

He is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Josh.ai. [5]

Early life and education

Tim Gill was born in Hobart, Indiana, and moved to Colorado with his family when he was in third grade. [3] He attended Wheat Ridge High School in Jefferson County, Colorado, eventually studying computer science and applied mathematics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. [2]

Philanthropy and political action

Gill is the founder of the Gill Foundation, Gill Action Fund, and OutGiving. [6]

Gill first became involved in LGBTQ activism as a freshman at the University of Colorado at Boulder. [4] He volunteered for the campus gay-liberation group and later supported local HIV/AIDS awareness. [4] In 1992, he continued his involvement in LGBTQ political action in response to the passage of Colorado Amendment 2, which prevented non-discrimination ordinances in the state from protecting people based on sexual orientation [6] [1] and which the United States Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional in its 1996 ruling in Romer v. Evans . [7]

He is widely credited as a visionary strategist and mega-donor who has made significant contributions to virtually every major LGBTQ rights victory in the United States, from the 2003 Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health decision making Massachusetts the first U.S. state to allow same-sex marriage, to the U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the country. [4] [6] [1] [8]

Gill, along with Pat Stryker, Jared Polis and Rutt Bridges—called by the press the "Gang of Four"—together donated significant funds in support of Democratic organizations in Colorado, which many believe helped to flip control of the state legislature to Democratic control in 2004. [9] [10] [11]

In July 2017, Gill was the subject of a profile by journalist Andy Kroll for Rolling Stone magazine titled "The Quiet Crusader: How Tim Gill turned a $500 million fortune into the nation's most powerful force for LGBTQ rights." [4]

Gill Foundation

Tim Gill founded the Gill Foundation in 1994, and co-chairs it with his husband Scott Miller. [12] [13] [14] The national, Denver-based non-profit organization underwrites academic research, polling, litigation, data analytics, and field organizing related to the LGBTQ rights movement. [4]

The foundation's initial focus was to build LGBTQ public acceptance through support of mainstream projects in Colorado. [6] The foundation established the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado in 1996, which provides financial support to a variety of non-profit organizations in the state. [4] [15] In addition to LGBTQ equality, the foundation focuses on providing STEM education to every Colorado student, [16] [17] curbing predatory lending and increasing financial literacy, [18] [3] and supporting public media. [19] [20]

Gill Action Fund

In 2005, Tim Gill established the Gill Action Fund, which is separate from the charitable endeavors of the foundation. [21] The political fund has helped to elect hundreds of pro-equality lawmakers across the country at the local, state, and federal levels. [4] In 2006, its first election year, the fund helped defeat 50 of the 70 anti-LGBTQ candidates it targeted. [4]

The fund also contributed to the successful 2016 election campaign of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, who defeated the incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. [4] Gill prioritized unseating McCrory after he championed and passed the anti-LGBTQ HB2 "bathroom bill," which forced transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding with their sex at birth rather than their gender identity. [4]


In 1996, Gill founded OutGiving, a private, invitation-only philanthropic conference, to bring major pro-LGBTQ philanthropists together. OutGiving holds a conference every two years to discuss philanthropic strategies. [22]

Freedom for All Americans

Since the U.S. Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, Gill has shifted his focus to securing non-discrimination protections in the 28 states where it is still legal to discriminate against LGBTQ people in housing, employment and public accommodations. [6] [23]

Gill is credited with developing a bipartisan strategy for securing non-discrimination protections in traditionally Republican states. [6] In 2015, Gill, Paul Singer and Daniel Loeb, helped fund Freedom for All Americans to advocate for non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in states and local communities across the country. [24] [25] Freedom for All Americans has successfully enlisted the support of businesses and corporations to work with Republican-held state legislatures to reject or overturn anti-LGBTQ legislation. [26] [27] The organization borrows the state-focused model of Freedom to Marry, the grassroots organizations that directed the fight for same-sex marriage equality from state to state leading up to the U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision. [28] [29]

University of Colorado endowment

In 1998, Gill endowed the Tim Gill Professorship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado's medical school to support HIV research and education. [30]


In 2016, Tim Gill directed funding from the foundation to support a comprehensive theme study by the National Park Service to identify historically significant places related to LGBTQ history for potential inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places or designation as a National Monument. [31] [32] [33]

Business ventures

ALF Products

Quark, Inc.

After jobs at Hewlett-Packard and a consulting services firm, Gill started the company Quark, Inc. in 1981 with a $2,000 loan from his parents. [6] [12] [34] Quark produced page layout software for the graphics market. With the introduction of Fred Ebrahimi as CEO in 1986, and the launch of the company's flagship page layout software, QuarkXPress, in 1987, Gill became a multi-millionaire. [35] Gill sold his fifty percent interest in Quark in 1999 for a reported $500 million, citing his growing involvement in philanthropic and activist endeavors. [12] [4]


In 2003, Gill created Connexion.org, a social media platform for engaging the LGBTQ community in political activities. [36] Connexion closed in September 2011. [37]


In March 2015, Gill co-founded the smart home technology start-up JStar LLC. [23] He is the Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of the company. [38] JStar's flagship product is Josh.ai, a voice-controlled home automation system using JStar's own artificial intelligence technology platform. [38] [39] The company is headquartered in Denver with offices in Los Angeles. [40] In July 2017, JStar announced an additional $8 million in private investment to create original hardware to compete with Google Home, Amazon Echo, and other devices with intelligent assistants inside. [41] [42] Josh.ai can be used through Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, Google Home, and iOS and Android apps. [41] [42]

Personal life

Gill married his husband, Scott Miller, in Massachusetts in 2009. [43] They live in Denver, Colorado with their dog. [15]

In 2022, Gill's husband Scott Miller became the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. [44]

Gill is an avid snowboarder. [2]

Awards and honors

In 1996, Gill received the University of Colorado Distinguished Service Award for his work supporting HIV/AIDS research. [30]

Macworld awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. [45]

Gill was awarded the NOGLSTP GLBT Engineer of the Year Award in 2007. [46]

In September 2007, People for the American Way awarded Gill its Spirit of Liberty Award. [47]

Gill received Liberty Hill Foundation's Upton Sinclair award in 2011. [48] [49]

Colorado Governor Jared Polis awarded Gill the Colorado 2019 Vanguard Legacy Governor's citizenship Medal. [50]

In August 2020, he was honored with Family Equality’s Murray/Reese Family Award. [51]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Human Rights Campaign</span> LGBTQ civil rights advocacy group

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is an American LGBTQ advocacy group. It is the largest LGBTQ political lobbying organization within the United States. Based in Washington, D.C., the organization focuses on protecting and expanding rights for LGBTQ individuals, most notably advocating for same-sex marriage, anti-discrimination and hate crimes legislation, and HIV/AIDS advocacy. The organization has a number of legislative initiatives as well as supporting resources for LGBTQ individuals.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Urvashi Vaid</span> Indian-American LGBT rights activist, lawyer and writer (1958–2022)

Urvashi Vaid was an Indian-born American LGBT rights activist, lawyer, and writer. An expert in gender and sexuality law, she was a consultant in attaining specific goals of social justice. She held a series of roles at the National LGBTQ Task Force. She is the author of Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation (1995) and Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics (2012).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Egale Canada</span>

Egale Canada is an advocacy organization founded in 1986 by Les McAfee to advance equality for Canadian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their families, across Canada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">National Center for Transgender Equality</span> U.S. nonprofit organization

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is a nonprofit social equality organization founded in 2003 by transgender activist Mara Keisling in Washington, D.C. The organization works primarily in the areas of policy advocacy and media activism with the aim of advancing the equality of transgender people in the United States. Among other transgender-related issue areas, NCTE focuses on discrimination in employment, access to public accommodations, fair housing, identity documents, hate crimes and violence, criminal justice reform, federal research surveys and the Census, and health care access.

This is a list of notable events in the history of LGBT rights that took place in the year 2007.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jared Polis</span> Governor of Colorado since 2019 (born 1975)

Jared Schutz Polis is an American politician, entrepreneur, businessman, and philanthropist serving as the 43rd governor of Colorado since 2019.

Mary Lou Makepeace is an American politician who served as the mayor of Colorado Springs, Colorado from 1997 to 2003. She was the first woman to hold that position.

The Gill Foundation is an American philanthropic foundation based in Denver, Colorado. It is one of the funders of efforts to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the United States. The foundation's mission is "to secure equal opportunities for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado</span> Organization funding LGBT nonprofits

The Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado, a program of the Gill Foundation, provides financial support to nonprofit organizations in Colorado. Current grant making through the Gay & Lesbian Fund includes STEM education, promoting fair lending practices, access to safe capital, and financial literacy, support for Colorado public broadcasting stations, and statewide LGBT service and advocacy organizations. Based in Denver with the Gill Foundation, the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado has awarded more than $52 million in grants since its inception.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">LGBT rights in New York</span>

The U.S. state of New York has generally been seen as socially liberal in regard to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights. LGBT travel guide Queer in the World states, "The fabulosity of Gay New York is unrivaled on Earth, and queer culture seeps into every corner of its five boroughs". The advocacy movement for LGBT rights in the state has been dated as far back as 1969 during the Stonewall riots in New York City. Same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults has been legal since the New York v. Onofre case in 1980. Same-sex marriage has been legal statewide since 2011, with some cities recognizing domestic partnerships between same-sex couples since 1998. Discrimination protections in credit, housing, employment, education, and public accommodation have explicitly included sexual orientation since 2003 and gender identity or expression since 2019. Transgender people in the state legally do not have to undergo sex reassignment surgery to change their sex or gender on official documents since 2014. In addition, both conversion therapy on minors and the gay and trans panic defense have been banned since 2019. Since 2021, commercial surrogacy has been legally available within New York State.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">LGBT rights in Pennsylvania</span>

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania enjoy most of the same rights as non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Pennsylvania. Same-sex couples and families headed by same-sex couples are eligible for all of the protections available to opposite-sex married couples. Pennsylvania was the final Mid-Atlantic state without same-sex marriage, indeed lacking any form of same-sex recognition law until its statutory ban was overturned on May 20, 2014.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Equality Florida</span>

Equality Florida is a political advocacy group that advocates for civil rights and protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) residents of the U.S. state of Florida.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">David Bohnett Foundation</span>

The David Bohnett Foundation is a private foundation that gives grants to organizations that focus on its core giving areas – primarily Los Angeles area programs and LGBT rights in the United States, as well as leadership initiatives and voter education, gun violence prevention, and animal language research. As of 2022, the foundation has donated $125 million to nonprofit organizations and initiatives.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Donnya Piggott</span>

Donnya "Zi" Piggott is a tech entrepreneur, designer and human rights advocate from Barbados. In 2012, she co-founded B-GLAD, a support organisation for LGBT persons in Barbados. In 2015, she was awarded Queen Elizabeth's Young Leaders Award for her activism in changing the lives of young people. Donnya is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of Pink Coconuts.

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 U.S. ___ (2018), was a case in the Supreme Court of the United States that dealt with whether owners of public accommodations can refuse certain services based on the First Amendment claims of free speech and free exercise of religion, and therefore be granted an exemption from laws ensuring non-discrimination in public accommodations—in particular, by refusing to provide creative services, such as making a custom wedding cake for the marriage of a gay couple, on the basis of the owner's religious beliefs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Equality Act (United States)</span> Bill to prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in the 117th Congress

The Equality Act is a bill in the United States Congress, that, if passed, would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, federally funded programs, credit, and jury service. The Supreme Court's June 2020 ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County protects gay and transgender people in matters of employment, but not in other respects. The Bostock ruling also covered the Altitude Express and Harris Funeral Homes cases.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ryan T. Anderson</span> American political philosopher (1981-)

Ryan Timothy Anderson is an American conservative political philosopher who is best known for his opposition to same-sex marriage. He is currently president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He was previously the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation and the founder and editor-in-chief of Public Discourse, the Witherspoon Institute's online journal.

On 20 May 2021, 21 LGBT rights activists in Ghana were arrested at a hotel in Ho, Ho Municipal District, during an assembly where the activists were discussing human rights treatment of LGBT+ people in the country. The arrests sparked international condemnation and the rise of a movement under the banner #ReleaseThe21 calling for their release and an end to state violence against the Ghanaian LGBT+ community. In the most recent court hearing, on 11 June 2021, the activists were granted bail on their fourth application. The case was dropped on 5 August 2021 on the basis of lack of evidence on the charge of unlawful assembly.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Scott Miller (activist)</span> American LGBT activist and diplomat (born 1979)

Scott C. Miller is an American LGBT rights activist, philanthropist and former banker. He has served as the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein since 2022.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Josh.ai</span>

Josh.ai is an American artificial intelligence company known for developing the voice-controlled home automation system known as Josh. The company was founded in 2015 by Tim Gill and Alex Capecelatro. It is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.


  1. 1 2 3 Green, Joshua (March 1, 2007). "They Won't Know What Hit Them". The Atlantic . Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Healy, Rita (April 4, 2007). "The Gay Mogul Changing U.S. Politics". Time . Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  3. 1 2 3 Bouchard, Jay (2019-12-02). "Who Is Tim Gill?". 5280. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Kroll, Andy (June 23, 2017). "Meet the Megadonor Behind the LGBTQ Rights Movement". Rolling Stone . Archived from the original on 28 June 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  5. Josh (2017-07-11). "Josh.ai Raises $11M in Funding for a Premium Artificial Intelligence Experience in the Home". Medium. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Green, Joshua (April 24, 2015). "America's Gay Corporate Warrior Wants to Bring Full Equality to Red States". Bloomberg Businessweek . Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  7. "Romer v. Evans | law case". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  8. Smith, Ben (December 14, 2010). "Gay rights take center stage in N.Y." Politico . Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  9. Kroll, Andy. "This machine turned Colorado blue. Now it may be Dems' best hope to save the Senate". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  10. "How the Dems won Colorado". The Denver Post. 2010-04-08. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  11. "Colorado's Big Blue Political Machine: The Gang of Four". capitalresearch.org. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  12. 1 2 3 Rothenberg, Matthew (October 25, 2000). "Founder Tim Gill exits Quark". ZDNet . Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  13. "Denver's Tim Gill has donated half a billion dollars to LGBTQ equality. Now the software geek turned activist reflects on 25 years of the struggle". The Denver Post. 2019-07-14. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  14. "Gill Foundation puts up $1 million for campaign to expand LGBTQ civil rights". Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights. 2021-01-20. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  15. 1 2 "Tim Gill". Gill Foundation . Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  16. "Gill Foundation drops $400,000 on STEM labs for every elementary school in Englewood". The Denver Post. 2017-09-12. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  17. Hendee, Caitlin (14 September 2017). "Gill Foundation gift makes 'SmartLabs' a reality for Englewood students". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2021-03-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. "Gill Foundation | 2018 Annual Report" . Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  19. "Rocky Mountain Public Media for You" (PDF). Retrieved 1 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. "Buell Public Media Center". RMPBS. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  21. Roehr, Bob (March 30, 2006). "The Gill Action Fund: Serious LGBT Politics". Bay Area Reporter . Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  22. "About OutGiving". OutGiving. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  23. 1 2 Callahan, David (August 25, 2015). "No One Left Behind: Tim Gill and the New Quest for Full LGBT Equality". Inside Philanthropy . Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  24. Polaski, Adam (June 8, 2015). "Introducing the Campaign to Secure Non-Discrimination for LGBT Americans". Freedom for All Americans. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  25. Somashekhar, Sandhya (June 5, 2015). "Ending discrimination in workplace, other areas is next gay rights battle". Washington Post . Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  26. "Major Businesses Speaking Up for Nondiscrimination Protections in Georgia". Freedom for All Americans. January 7, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  27. "Business Community Leading the Charge for Nondiscrimination Bills". Freedom for All Americans. February 3, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  28. Wheeler, Lydia (July 5, 2015). "The next front in battle over gay rights". The Hill . Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  29. Wolfson, Evan (June 26, 2015). "Evan Wolfson: What's Next in the Fight for Gay Equality". New York Times . Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  30. 1 2 "Division of Infectious Diseases Tim Gill Endowment". medschool.cuanschutz.edu. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
  31. Doyle, Michael (October 11, 2016). "LGBTQ history mapped for possible national historic landmark honors". Miami Herald . Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  32. Sheppard, Kate (October 12, 2016). "National Park Service Studies Historic LGBTQ Sites For Possible Recognition". Huffington Post . Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  33. Gill, Tim; Jewell, Sally (October 11, 2016). "Preserving LGBTQ history". Washington Blade . Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  34. Hoover's Guide to Computer Companies. Hoover's Business Press. December 1996. pp. 346–. ISBN   9781878753809 . Retrieved 2 June 2012. In 1981 Gill, then 27, founded Quark ...
  35. Anton, Kelly Kordes; Cruise, John (2009-02-13). QuarkXpress 8: Essential Skills for Page Layout and Web Design. Peachpit Press. pp. 209–. ISBN   9780321616913 . Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  36. Jones, Isa. "Connexion is Shutting Down". CU Independent . Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  37. Villarreal, Daniel (September 7, 2011). "How Will Connexion Help LGBTs Now That They're Closing Down?". Queerty . Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  38. 1 2 Stuart, Sophia (January 8, 2016). "Forget Alexa: Josh Is Your New AI Butler". PC Magazine . Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  39. Chang, Lulu (May 31, 2016). "Have $14,000 to Spend? The Josh.ai Smart Home System May Be for You". Digital Trends . Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  40. "About Josh". Josh.ai. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  41. 1 2 Perez, Sarah (July 7, 2017). "Josh.ai raises $11 million for a premium home automation system with a smarter AI". TechCrunch . Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  42. 1 2 Johnson, Khari (July 7, 2017). "Josh.ai raises $8 million to build an Amazon Echo competitor for smart homes". VentureBeat . Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  43. Park, Penny (April 13, 2009). "Parker: Tim Gill ties the knot in Massachusetts". Denver Post . Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  44. Cooper, Penny (August 10, 2021). "Biden's Out Nom for Swiss Ambassador Is Mega-Donor for LGBTQ+ Causes". The Advocate . Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  45. "Lifetime Achievement Award" (PDF). Macworld: 53. 1 March 2001.
  46. "NOGLSTP to Honor Bertozzi, Gill, Mauzey, and Bannochie at 2007 Awards Ceremony in February". NOGLSTP. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  47. "PFAW's Gay Ambassador". Metro Weekly. 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2021-03-16.
  48. "Liberty Hill Foundation's annual Upton Sinclair Dinner". Beverly Hills, CA Patch. 2011-04-20. Retrieved 2021-03-16.
  49. "May 11 Upton Sinclair Dinner Presenters Announced". www.libertyhill.org. Retrieved 2021-03-16.
  50. "Gov. Polis announces 2019 Colorado Governor's Citizenship Medals". CIVICO. 13 September 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  51. "Family Equality | Family Equality to Honor Tim Gill and Scott Miller at September 17 "Our Families, Our Future: What's at Stake" Virtual Event". Family Equality. Retrieved 2021-03-22.