Bill Gates, Melinda Gates announce end of their marriage

Melinda and Bill Gates

Bill and Melinda Gates are ending their 27-year marriage

The Gateses will be the second high-profile Seattle-area billionaire couple to end their marriage in recent years.

"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 a statement posted on the Twitter account of Bill Gates, who cofounded Microsoft Corp. They said in the statement that they'll continue to work together at the massive philanthropic foundation they built to improve global health, combat climate change and bolster USA education.

They added that the couple would continue to run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation together, whose mission is to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives.

Bill and Melinda, in the statement, urged everyone to give them space and privacy for their family as they begin to navigate "this new life". They're parents to children Jennifer, 25, Rory, 21, and Phoebe, 18.

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They have amassed a fortune of US$127 billion.

In a 2019 interview with Business Insider, Melinda said a key component of their marriage was maintaining a balanced partnership-whether it be taking care of their three kids or running their foundation.

"At one point the couple chose to move $20 billion worth of Microsoft stock to the foundation as they sought to increase their commitment to philanthropy, Bill Gates wrote in a 2019 blog post", the publication said.

Over the past year, the Gates, through their foundation, have been involved in the fight against Covid-19 and the effort to develop and distribute vaccines around the world. They met after she began working at Microsoft as a product manager in 1987.

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Melinda Gates and Bill Gates have announced their split online.

"She had other boyfriends, and I had Microsoft", said Bill.

When they finally got married in 1994, he was 38 and she was 29. Melinda left Microsoft in 1996.

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