The Tragic Divorce Of Bill and Melinda Gates


Courtesy of People

The Gates are going their separate ways.

Nikole Galea, Photojournalist

Bill Gates is an American business entrepreneur, software developer, investor, author, and philanthropist. He is the co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation. And currently holds a net worth of 129.7 billion dollars. After 27 years of love and hard work between the couple, Melinda French has filed for divorce.

Bill Gates met Melinda after she joined Microsoft. Melinda Gates began as a product manager in 1987, at that point Bill had been dating Ann Winblad. He developed such a strong bond with Winblad that Bill made sure to keep her in his life after they split in 1987. Sometime later Bill asked her if she could go out “two weeks from tonight” Melinda replied saying, “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.”

Bill and Melinda eventually married in 1994. Together, they had 3 children. Their daughter Jennifer Katharine Gates, born in 1996, Son Rory John Gates was born in 1999, followed by younger daughter Phoebe Adele Gates in 2002. All of the children jointly run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was established in 2000. They were the product of the merging of both of Gates’ original foundations, William H. Gates Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation. The institution is guided by the belief that every life has equal value. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives.  “In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty.” (GatesFoundation) Bill and Melinda are the trustees for the Foundation Trust, and the endowment continues to be managed, as it has been for more than 10 years, by a team of outside investment managers.

News recently surfaced that there had been an agreement with Melinda and him that he can spend an annual weekend with his ex-girlfriend, software engineer, and venture capitalist Ann Winblad. They would go to Winblad beach cottage on the Outer Banks of North Carolina every spring. “According to the 1997 interview, the ex-lovers spent their weekends together riding dune buggies, hang-gliding, and playing “putt-putt while discussing biotechnology.” (InsideHook)

“It has been learned that Melinda decided to seek divorce and claimed the marriage was “irretrievably broken” (…) Court documents filed Monday in Seattle noted there was a separation agreement in place, but not a prenup.” (nypost) Interestingly enough they filed only once their youngest child graduated from high school, meaning they stayed together until then. How the rest of the couple’s assets will be divided hasn’t been made public yet, but Melinda seems likely to end up with substantially more than $2 billion.

Keira O’Connell (10) “I think it is crazy that after a marriage where they built each other up for 27 years. This was most definitely heartbreaking to hear.” Though let’s leave it to them to figure it out, it is their marriage.