Billionaire philanthropist couple Bill and Melinda Gates are calling it quits after 27 years of marriage. Bill, 65, and Melinda, 56, announced their divorce on May 3, 2021, via a joint statement posted on their individual Twitter accounts. “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the two said in the statement.
On the same day of the Twitter announcement, a divorce petition was filed by Melinda with the Superior Court of King County, Washington. Their oldest child Jennifer Katharine Gates, 25, wrote in a statement that it has “been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family.”
The co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, resigned from the company’s board back in 2020 to focus more on his philanthropic work. According to Forbes, he is the fourth-richest person in the world with a net worth of approximately $130 billion. He also still owns about 1.3 percent of Microsoft’s shares.
In 2000, the couple founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. According to the foundation’s financial statements, its assets are nearly $50 billion. Between 2018 and 2019, it issued about $5 billion in grants across the globe. As stated in their joint statement, the couple said, “they would continue to work together in the philanthropic mission.” They both serve as co-chairs of the foundation. It is not clear from the divorce petition whether the couple has a prenuptial agreement.
Written by Ebonee Stevenson
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
Fox Business: Bill Gates took getaways with his ex-girlfriend after marriage to Melinda; by Kate Sheehy
NBC News: Melinda Gates’ petition for divorce says marriage to Bill is ‘irretrievably broken’; by Elisha
Reuters: Bill and Melinda Gates to divorce, but charitable foundation to remain intact; by Eric Johnson and Alexandra Ulmer
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Inset Image Courtesy of Steve Jurvetson’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License