By Alao Abiodun
The news of Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda Gates planned divorce has elicited a flurry of reactions.
While the two are known for their incredible contributions to the tech world, all eyes are on their personal lives to see what happens with the divorce.
The Nation reports the billionaires, who are co-founders of one of the world’s largest private charitable foundations, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said they have come to an agreement on how to split their assets.
The couple said they would continue to work jointly at the foundation.
Bill Gates and Melinda Gates have been together for 27 years.
The two met via Microsoft, which is also how they amassed their enormous fortune.
“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 ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life,” the couple said in a statement posted on their separate Twitter handles.
How Bill and Melinda Gates met
William H. Gates grew up in Seattle and fell in love with machines and computer programming as a geeky-looking 13-year-old.
He was born on October 28, 1955.
He left Harvard University after two years to start “Micro-soft”, a software company, with a childhood friend.
Also, Melinda Gates was born Melinda French on August 15, 1964 in Dallas, Texas.
The first computer she ever used was an Apple II, and she developed an interest in computer games and programming at school.
In 1987, Melinda was hired as a product manager for the company, and she met Bill just three weeks after getting hired when she traveled to New York. Bill Gates’ age was just 32 at the time, and Melinda was 23.
After their first meeting, Bill asked Melinda to go out dancing — but Melinda declined. They reconnected several months later, though.
While Melinda declined Bill’s advances once again, they eventually went on a date. And it seems the rest is history.
Bill had to make sacrifices to make his relationship with Melinda work and run Microsoft but he decided it was worth it.
The two married in 1994.
How they got married
They got were married in 1994 in Hawaii after her work stint at Microsoft as a product manager in 1987.
In her 2019 memoir, “The Moment of Lift,” Melinda Gates wrote about her childhood, life, and private struggles as the wife of a public icon and stay-at-home mom with three kids.
She won Bill Gates’ heart after meeting at a work dinner, sharing a mutual love of puzzles and beating him at a math game.
They launched the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000.
Bill and Melinda Gates foundation
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the most influential private foundation in the world, with an endowment worth nearly $50 billion, according to checks by The Nation.
As the public face of the foundation’s COVID-19 grants and advocacy work, Bill Gates has come under fire for being a staunch supporter of intellectual property rights for vaccine makers.
While the tech icon says protecting the shots’ recipes will ensure incentives for research and development, critics claim that mentality hampers supply in favor of drug company profits.
Last year, Bill Gates said he was stepping down from Microsoft’s board to focus on philanthropy.
He was Microsoft’s CEO until 2000 and since then has gradually scaled back his involvement in the company he started with Paul Allen in 1975.
He transitioned out of a day-to-day role in Microsoft in 2008 and served as chairman of the board until 2014.
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