Bill and Melinda Gates are getting divorced. Here's a look inside their 27-year marriage, from meeting at work, to having 3 kids, to spending $45 billion on philanthropy.

The goals of Bill and Melinda share, announced the Microsoft co-founder on Monday. Scott Olson / Getty Images
Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, announced that he and his wife Melinda will be getting a divorce.
Gates married Melinda French in 1994 after the two met at work.
The two run the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which as of 2019 has endowment assets of 49.8 billion US dollars.
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Bill and Melinda Gates are getting divorced.
The billionaire Microsoft founder announced his plans to split up with his 27-year-old wife on Monday.
"After much thought and work on our relationship, we made the decision to end our marriage," said Bill Gates in a tweet. "Over the past 27 years we've raised three amazing children and built a foundation that works around the world to help everyone live healthy and productive lives."
Bill and Melinda Gates have been married since 1994, raised three children, are valued at $ 130.5 billion, and run a philanthropic company of the same name with an endowment of $ 49.8 billion.
Here's a look at the marriage between Bill and Melinda:
Bill and Melinda met in 1987 when she joined Microsoft as a product manager.
Ron Galella, Ltd. / Getty Images
Bill asked her if she could go out "two weeks from tonight" - to which Melinda replied, "Two weeks from tonight? I have no idea what I'm doing two weeks from tonight." And I said, "You're not spontaneous enough for me."
Source: Business Insider
Melinda gave Bill her number and told him to call her closer to the day he was going.
Stevan Morgain / AP Images
Source: Business Insider
Instead, he called her later that night with an ironic question: "Is that spontaneous enough for you?" It turned out that it was.
Lennox McLendon / File / AP Pictures
Source: Business Insider
Melinda and Bill were together for seven years before they got married. Melinda told Fortune that her mom didn't think it was a good idea to see the CEO at first.
Douglas C. Pizac / File / AP-Pictures
Source: Business Insider, Fortune
But the couple didn't listen. Business Insider's Tanza Loudenback said they "went quiet at work, asking colleagues and family members to respect their privacy".
Tran Van Minh / AP Images
Source: Business Insider, Seattle Times, Business Insider
"When I look back, Bill was the same guy I hung out with in college," Melinda told Fortune. "I had a lot of respect for them and they had respect for me."
Andy Rogers / AP Pictures
Source: Business Insider, Fortune
"I was definitely drawn to his brilliant mind, but also to his curiosity," she told Fortune. "And he's got a huge sense of fun. I love that crooked side of him."
Elaine Thompson / AP Images
Source: Business Insider, Fortune
After becoming engaged, Bill and Melinda traveled to Africa in late 1993. During the trip they met people in extreme poverty.
Manny Ceneta / Stringer / Getty Images
Source: TED, Business Insider
While walking on the beach in Zanzibar, Melinda told TED in an interview that the couple "started talking" about how they could use their wealth to help others.
Ivan Pavlov / Shutterstock
Source: TED, Business Insider
At this point the idea began to take shape that would ultimately become the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Source: Gates Notes
"It's not fair that we have so much wealth when billions of others have so little," wrote Melinda in one of the couple's annual letters.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the co-chair of Melinda Gates. Denis Balibouse / Reuters
Source: Gates Notes
The couple married in 1994 at what was then the Manele Bay Hotel in Hawaii. According to Forbes, they tied the knot through the "par-3 12" hole on the property's golf course. The event reportedly cost $ 1 million.
Dave Weaver / AP Images
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To keep the wedding private, Bill booked all of the hotel rooms and all of the helicopters on the island of Maui to "prevent unwanted visitors from flying overhead," Forbes reported.
Dave Weaver / AP Images
Source: Business Insider,, Forbes
Bill's parents gave the bride and groom a sculpture of two birds sitting next to each other and staring into the horizon. "It's still in front of our house," wrote Melinda in the couples' 2018 annual letter. "I think about it all the time because we're basically looking in the same direction."
Bachkova Natalia / Shutterstock
Source: Gates Notes
The next year, the couple's lavish home, nicknamed "Xanadu 2.0" in Medina, Washington, was completed. The estimated value of the mansion in 2016 was $ 124 million.
Dan Callister / Getty Images
Source: Business Insider, The Economic Times
The couple raised two daughters and a son - and, according to The Mirror, neither of them owned a cell phone until they were 14 years old.
Elaine Thompson / AP Images
Source: Business Insider, Business Insider, Der Spiegel
Bill told Rolling Stone the children were raised Catholic. "We raised our children religiously," he said. "You went to the Catholic Church that Melinda goes to and that I attend."
Scott Olson / Getty Images
Source: Rolling Stone
Bill and Melinda read books from a variety of genres to their children as they grew up, from "Guess How Much I Love You" to "Fahrenheit 451".
Nati Harnik / AP Pictures
Source: Business Insider
Gates has said his wife is a driving force when it comes to bringing the family together. "Melinda is very creative when it comes to helping me hang out with the kids," Gates wrote in a 2017 Reddit AMA. "Even if you just drive her to school, it's a good time to be with them to speak."
John Moore / Getty Images
Source: Reddit
Each of the Gates 'children will inherit approximately $ 10 million of their parents' $ 98.1 billion net worth, with much of the remainder going to charitable causes.
Yana Paskova / Getty
Source: Business Insider, TED,
"We want to find a balance where they have the freedom to do anything but not a lot of money so they can go out and do nothing," Bill told TED.
Mark J. Terrill / AP Images
Source: Business Insider, TED,
The gates also support their children in other ways. The couple spent $ 37 million buying a number of properties in Wellington, Florida in 2016. The reason? Their daughter Jennifer is a nationally recognized show jumper, and the city of Florida is the equestrian capital of the United States.
Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images
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Melinda has said that her relationship with her husband has changed over time. "We had to change to really be the same," she said. "It's not something that happens overnight, but we are both committed to it."
Gazi Sarwar / AP Images
Source: Business Insider, Fortune
Melinda said the couple still did the dishes together every night to keep the partnership the same.
Getty Images
Source: Business Insider
According to Melinda, Bill has been used to leading Microsoft since its inception.
Melinda and Bill Gates. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation / YouTube
Source: Gates Notes
But these days, Bill and Melinda work as partners at the foundation. Both received the Presidential Freedom Medals in 2016 from President Barack Obama for their efforts.
Kamil Zihnioglu, Pool / AP-Pictures
Source: Business Insider, The White House
They work to make sure their schedules are synced, free, and balanced. "Melinda and I take a close look at our schedules to make sure we balance things out well," Gates wrote in a 2018 Reddit AMA.
John Lamparski / Getty Images
Source: Reddit
In response to being asked how the couple deal with arguments, Melinda jokingly wrote in Gates' 2018 annual letter, "We'll never agree."
Darren McCollester, Getty
Source: Gates Notes
"Our occasional disagreements these days are tactical. Because I've been a public figure longer and because I'm a man, some people assume I make the big decisions. That has never been the case," wrote Bill in the Foundation's Gates Annual Letter for 2018.
TED / James Duncan Davidson
Source: Gates Notes
Melinda added that the couple avoid serious disagreements by sharing basic values, trust, and a sense of open-mindedness.
Melinda and Bill Gates. Brian Ach / Getty Images for the Lasker Foundation
Source: Gates Notes
Warren Buffett, who is close to the couple, told Fortune that Bill was "obviously clever as hell" but that Melinda was "smarter about the whole picture".
Seth Wenig / AP Images
Source: Fortune, Business Insider
In a Reddit AMA, Gates revealed that his wife and Buffett were his two favorite stars ...
Warren Buffett speaks with Bill and Melinda Gates at a press conference with the media on June 26, 2006 at which Buffett spoke about his financial gift to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in New York City.
Source: Reddit
... followed by Bono and Jimmy Carter. He added that Nelson Mandela was the most formidable political leader he has ever met.
The musician Bono from U2 reacts to the opening of the 53rd Munich Security Conference on February 17, 2017 in Munich. REUTERS / Michael Dalder Michael Dalder / Reuters
Source: Reddit
Regarding their work partnership, Bill wrote in his 2018 annual letter that the perception that Melinda is "the heart" of the organization is a stereotype.
ED Bailey / AP Images
Source: Gates Notes
"The way she knows I'm more emotional than people think, I know she's more analytical than people think. When I'm really excited about something, I count on her to make sure I'm realistic."
Michel Euler / AP Pictures
Source: Gates Notes
"Melinda and I believe everyone deserves a chance at a healthy and productive life - and that's why we're working, with the help of our great partners, to find innovative ways to help people in need around the world," Bill wrote during one from his Reddit AMAs.
Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images
Source: Reddit
Bill announced on May 3 that the couple had made the decision to end their marriage.
"After much thought and work on our relationship, we made the decision to end our marriage," said Bill Gates in a tweet. "Over the past 27 years we've raised three amazing children and built a foundation that works around the world to help everyone live healthy and productive lives."
Source: Twitter
Melinda had reportedly filed for divorce since 2019, and unnamed sources reported that The New York Times Bill had persecuted other women while they were married.
File photo dated November 24, 1998. Reuters
Since the divorce was announced, news reports have revealed complications in Bill and Melinda's relationship.
Sources told the New York Times that the Microsoft founder turned down his wife during the meetings and invited other women to dinner. The Wall Street Journal reported that Melinda had been consulting divorce lawyers since 2019 after Bill's links to Jeffrey Epstein were revealed.
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Bill Gates
Melinda Gates

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