Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, the world’s fourth-richest man with a fortune of about $130 billion, are divorcing after 27 years of marriage. On Monday, the 65-year-old Microsoft founder and his 56-year-old wife announced their divorce on Twitter.
‘Over the last 27 years, 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 to work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.
‘We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.’ The couple has three kids; Jennifer, 25, Rory, 21, and Phoebe, 18.
When the pair married in the early 1990s, Gates was already a billionaire. He established Microsoft in 1975 and, at the age of 31, became the world’s youngest billionaire in 1987. That year, he also met Melinda.
They married six years later, but he discussed it and, according to Melinda’s previous interviews, also undertook a whiteboard list of pros and cons for marriage.
It’s unclear if the couple has a prenuptial agreement in order to help them split their property.
The Second most expensive divorce in the history. The first one was
Amazon creator Jeff Bezos, who split his $150 billion fortune with his wife MacKenzie in 2019 after his affair with Lauren Sanchez was announced.
Unlike Bezos, they are also members of The Giving Pledge, a group of the world’s wealthiest individuals who have pledged to donate at least half of their fortunes to charity.
In 1975, Bill or Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft. He became CEO until 2000, during that he became a director. In March 2020, he stepped down from the board of Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway to dedicate more resources to philanthropy.
In 1994, the couple married in Hawaii. In 1987, Melinda worked at Microsoft as a project manager. At a business party, they had stood next to each other. After a year of dating, he made a list of the benefits and drawbacks of marriage.
In a Netflix documentary about his life, Bill said, “You know, we cared a lot for each other and there were only two possibilities: either we were going to split up or we were going to get married.”