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The philanthropic couple announced the end of their 27-year marriage in a statement on their verified Twitter accounts.
The statement read: “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have decided to end our marriage.”
Statement of Melinda and Bill Gates, courtesy of Melinda French Gates on Twitter
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The couple is well-known for launching the private foundation, the 'Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation' in 2000. It has been reported that the private foundation is the largest of its kind in the world, with $46.8 billion in assets.
Since its launch, the foundation has spent $53.8 billion on numerous initiatives that focus on global health, alleviation of poverty, reproductive health for women, and more.
The foundation has also been involved in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. They have placed effort in supporting the production of treatments and vaccines, and their equitable distribution around the world. As of December 2020, a total of $1.75 billion was committed by the foundation to the global pandemic response.
The end of a 27-year commitment
On May 03, 2021 (Monday), Melinda Gates filed for divorce in King County, Washington. She asked the judge to dissolve the marriage based on the couple’s separation contract. Financial details were not made publicly available.
The statement also said: “We have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives. We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
Bill and Melinda Gates met in 1987 at Microsoft, which Bill was running at the time as CEO. Melinda was working there as a product manager and was the only woman in the first class of MBA graduates to join the company. She eventually rose to become general manager of information products.
In 1994, they were wed in a private ceremony in Hawaii.
The pair’s statement also stated: “We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”