Bill and Melinda Gates are getting divorced. A firm power couple in the world of business and public health, the duo have used much of their combined fortune for philanthropy around the world.
The couple have been married for 27 years, meeting in the 1980s when Melinda joined the Microsoft firm. Together they have three children and together run the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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“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,” the couple said in dual-signed Twitter statement.
“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
As of today, Bill Gates is the fourth wealthiest person in the world, as ranked by Forbes. The man closely associated with Microsoft and the massive computer boom of the 1990s is today worth $124 billion.
Together, Bill and Melinda have tackled COVID-19 head-on, inviting praise from some and conspiracies from others. Their public persona, in light of the new vaccines and their push to help spread word, has been on full display lately, leaving today’s announcement as somewhat of a shock to those outside their tight circle.
What comes of the Gates fortune? While much of the family capital is tied up in the jointly named Foundation, not all of their funds are there. With Bill’s enormous wealth hanging above, it raises questions over who will end up where in the final tally.
Memories still linger of Jeff Bezos’s famous divorce in 2019. With funds comparable to Bill’s net worth, Bezos saw a massive hit from his split. It was a public example of divorce with large stakes and MacKenzie Bezos finished the story with a personal fortune of her own.
Attention will be on how this now-former power couple, famous for their willingness to help others, take care of personal business, especially when on full display. The man behind windows may have a lot of eyes on him quite soon.
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Sources: CNET, NY Times, BBC
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