After 27 years of marriage, Bill and Melinda Gates have announced their divorce, stating that “we no longer think we will grow together as a couple.”
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the pair tweeted.
When Melinda joined Bill’s Microsoft firm in the 1980s, they first met.
Bill and Melinda Gates, a billionaire couple with three children, run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation together.
The organization has invested billions of dollars battling infectious diseases and urging children to get vaccinated.
The Giving Pledge, which calls on billionaires to commit to giving away the majority of their wealth to good causes, was created by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, an investor.
According to Forbes, Bill Gates is the world’s fourth-richest individual, worth $124 billion (£89 billion).
He made his money through Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, which he co-founded in the 1970s.
The couple announced their divorce on Twitter in a joint statement.
“We have raised three beautiful children and created a foundation that operates all over the world to empower all people to lead good, productive lives,” the statement read.
“We really believe in that mission and will continue to work together at the foundation, but we don’t think we’ll be able to develop as a couple in the next stage of our lives.”
“As we begin to navigate this new life, we ask for room and privacy for our families.”
How did they meet?
Melinda, now 56, began her career at Microsoft as a product manager in 1987, and the two met at a business dinner in New York that year.
“We cared a lot about each other and there were just two possibilities: either we were going to split up or we were going to get married,” Bill said in a Netflix documentary.
Bill, Melinda said, was writing a list on a whiteboard with the “pros and cons of getting married,” as he is known to be methodical even in matters of the heart.
In 1994, they married on the Hawaiian island of Lanai, allegedly hiring all of the nearby helicopters to keep unwanted visitors from flying in.
Bill, 65, left Microsoft’s board of directors last year to concentrate on his philanthropic endeavours.
What is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation?
- Bill and Melinda Gates founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle in 2000.
- The foundation’s main areas of focus are public health, education, and climate change.
- During the Covid-19 pandemic, it gave $1.75 billion to vaccine programs and science.
- The foundation had net assets of more than $43 billion in 2019.
- Between 1994 and 2018, Bill and Melinda Gates invested more than $36 billion in the foundation.
What part did Melinda play in their philanthropic campaign?
In a 2019 interview with the Associated Press, she said, “Bill and I are equal partners.” “At work, men and women should be treated equally.”
In her recent memoir The Moment of Lift, she wrote about her upbringing, life and private struggles as the wife of a famous figure and and stay-at-home mother with three kids.
She said that working together at the Foundation had improved their relationship. She wrote, “He had to learn how to be equal, and I had to learn how to step up and be an equal.”
In addition to her work with the Foundation, she founded Pivotal Ventures, a women and family-focused investment firm, in 2015.
She said at the time, “The world is slowly waking up to the fact that none of us can step forward when half of us is held back.” “The evidence is clear: women who are empowered change communities.”