Microsoft has lost one of its early employees one month after the original 11 members reunited to celebrate Bill Gates' retirement from his day-to-day role with the company he co-founded. Miriam Lubow (1935-2008 ) is known as Microsoft's 'Mama', a title she received shortly after starting to work as an office administrator for what was then a very small software company based in Albuquerque. Lubow is featured in the remake of the "Albuquerque Group" photo, but not in the original photography (both included in this article). Lubow missed the opportunity to be featured in the original image due to a snow storm.
"She was born in Milan, Italy on October 17th 1935. She came to America in May of 1940 where she boarded a ship sailing from the Port of Genoa, called the SS Conte di Savoia. Her family settled in Scarsdale, NY. After High School, she returned to Europe and attended an Interpreter's school in Switzerland where she learned five languages. She met her husband Milton in NY where they were married in 1960. They moved to Albuquerque, NM to raise a family where she is proud to have answered an ad in a newspaper looking for a 'Girl Friday'. She became the first office manger and employee number seven to Bill Gates, Jr. She later became known as "Mama" to her Microsoft friends," reads a fragment from Lubow's family message of her death.
Lubow is the second member of the software giant's first 12 employees to pass away following Bob Wallace, after she was diagnosed with liver cancer. The 'Mama' nickname was well earned by Lubow, who at least at the office, took on a much more intimate role, and started to take care of the aspects that the geeks overlooked with ease. By her own recalling of the early days of Microsoft, Lubow had put Bill Gates on a steady diet of hamburgers because he always skipped lunch.