By Ekaete Bassey
Tech billionaire Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda on Monday, 3rd April, announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” a statement on Bill Gates official Twitter handle reads on Monday evening.
“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.” It added.
Below are fifteen facts you should know about Bill and Melinda Gates:
· Bill and Melinda meet for the first time while attending a PC trade show in New York City. Bill asked Melinda out several weeks later and he had to set the date two weeks in advance due to his busy schedule.
· When the couple met in 1987, Melinda had just started working at Microsoft, the company Bill founded. According to Bill in the 2019 Netflix miniseries, “Inside Bill’s Brain, Melinda had other boyfriends and he had Microsoft.
· Eventually, after the romance got serious, Bill made a pro/con list for whether he should propose (really), and they decided to embark on a life together. Bill and Melinda finally got married in 1994 on the Hawaiian island of Lanai on New Year’s Day.
· The two welcomed their first child, daughter Jennifer in 1996. Son, Rory arrived in 1999 and daughter, Phoebe followed in 2002.
· Though the mother of three eventually stepped back from her job at Microsoft after nine years, she continued working with her husband.
· In 2000, the couples’ past charitable organizations reorganizes and become the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and they both serve on the board of trustees.
· The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) founded by Bill Gates and his (now ex) wife Melinda Gates is world’s largest private charity foundation.
· Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) was founded with the primary goals to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty across the globe. The foundation is controlled by its three trustees: Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, who is also a very good friend of the couple.
· In 2005, their charitable efforts get plenty of public attention, and they were named Time’s Persons of the Year along with Bono (Paul David Hewson, an Irish singer-songwriter, activist, philanthropist, venture capitalist, businessman, and actor).
· Bill revealed in a 2019 Facebook Live that they were lucky in terms of working and raising family together because they mostly see things the same way and their goals were very much the same.
· In 2019, while launching her book the “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World”, Melinda revealed that contrary to the thoughts of people, she had total equality with her husband even though it took them time to get to that point.
· As of December 2020, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the BMGF committed a total of $1.75 billion to accelerate development and equitable distribution of COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
· In 2021, Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage, saying they no longer believe they can grow together as a couple and court documents reveal that they have a separation contract.
· Gates dropped out of Harvard University to start Microsoft with school pal, Paul Allen in 1975. Gates owned 49% of Microsoft at its initial public offering in 1986, which made him an instant multimillionaire. With Microsoft’s explosive growth, he soon became one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Gates stepped down as CEO of Microsoft in 2000 to focus on philanthropy. He remained chairman until 2014 and left the company’s board in March 2020. And is currently the fourth richest person in the world.
· Melinda French Gates, who recently added her maiden name on most of her websites and social media, was raised in Dallas and studied computer science and economics at Duke University before joining Microsoft where she worked as a product manager as part of the first class of MBA graduates to join the company and eventually rose through the ranks to become general manager of information products.