Bill and Melinda: After 27 years of marriage, Bill and Melinda Gates have declared their divorce, stating that “we no longer think we will grow together as a couple.”
“After much thought and a lot of effort on our relationship, we have decided to end our marriage,” the couple tweeted.
They first met when Melinda joined Bill’s Microsoft company in the 1980s.
The billionaire couple has three children and runs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation together.
The organisation has spent billions of dollars battling causes such as infectious disorders and urging children to get vaccinated.
He earned his fortune by Microsoft, the world’s largest software corporation, which he co-founded in the 1970s.
The announcement confirming their divorce was shared on Twitter by both parties.
“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three extraordinary children and created a foundation that operates all over the world to allow all people to live safe, prosperous lives,” the statement said.
How Bill and Melinda got together?
Melinda, now 56, joined Microsoft as a product manager in 1987, and the two met at a company dinner in New York that year.
They started dating, but as Bill explained in a Netflix documentary, “we cared a lot about each other and there were only two possibilities: either we would split up or we would get married.”
Melinda said she found Bill – methodical even in matters of the heart, it seems – writing a list of “pros and cons of getting married” on a whiteboard.
They married on the Hawaiian island of Lanai in 1994, allegedly leasing out all of the nearby helicopters to keep unwelcome visitors from flying over.
Bill, 65, resigned from Microsoft’s board of directors last year to concentrate on his philanthropic activities.
What role did Melinda play in their campaigning?
“Bill and Melinda are equal partners,” she said in a 2019 interview with the Associated Press. “At work, men and women should be treated equally.”
She wrote about her upbringing, marriage, and private hardships as the wife of a celebrity personality and a stay-at-home mother of three children in her new memoir The Moment of Lift.
Working together at the Foundation had improved their friendship, she said. “He’s been through a lot.”
Aside from her involvement with the Foundation, she formed Pivotal Ventures in 2015, an investment firm focusing on women and families.
“The world is slowly realising that none of us will go forward if half of us are holding back,” she said at the time. “The evidence is unequivocal: motivated women change communities.”