“After a lot of reflection and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the Microsoft co-founder shared on Twitter on Tuesday. “Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works around the world to enable all people to live healthy, productive lives.
“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together on the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives,” the tweet continues. “We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
In a statement, the foundation said the couple would continue to shape the organization’s strategies, champion its causes and set its direction. Bill Gates is 65, Melinda Gates is 56.
Jennifer Gates, the couple’s eldest daughter, shared a statement via Instagram Stories, which among other things. reads: “It has been a challenging period for our whole family. I am still learning how to best support my own process and feelings as well as family members at this time.”
Bill Gates made his fortune through Microsoft, the software giant, which he co-founded in 1975. He is the world’s fourth richest person with a net worth of $ 124 billion, according to Forbes.
The couple met shortly after Melinda Gates joined Microsoft in 1987. They married on January 1, 1994.
“It took him a few months before he finally asked me,” Melinda said during an interview with Robin Roberts in 2016.
A three-part Netflix documentary from 2019 calledfocuses on Bill Gates’ life after Microsoft as a philanthropist and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and briefly explores the couple’s relationship.
“She’s very much like me because she’s optimistic and interested in science,” Bill Gates said in the documentary. “She’s better with people than I am. She’s a little bit less hardcore about knowing immunology than I am.”
Melinda Gates added: “We have a lot of humor in our relationship and we can joke about things.”
Since 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent $ 53.8 billion to “fight the greatest inequalities in the world,” according to the foundation’s website. Last April, the fund said it wason it while remaining committed to its core areas such as reducing communicable diseases, eliminating extreme poverty, and improving American public education. Last May, against the international efforts to develop and distribute COVID-19 diagnostics, therapies and vaccines.
Melinda Gates, a longtime advocate for gender equality, has done the samearound the world, from disrupting access to pre- and postnatal care to increasing the weight of unpaid labor related to family care. At this year’s South by Southwest conference, she told in the United States, which she said is even more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, as some women are being forced to drop out of the workforce due to care responsibilities.
The news comes two years after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott announced theirs. Scott has since signed The Giving Pledge and has since become an active contributor to food banks, emergency funds and services for the vulnerable and giving away in a four-month stretch.