Bill and Melinda Gates divorce after 27 years of marriage

Bill and Melinda Gates will divorce after 27 years of marriage, the couple announced in a joint statement Monday.

“After a lot of thinking and a lot of work on our relationship, we decided to end our marriage. In the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works around the world to ensure that all people live healthy, productive lives. ” statement said.

“We remain convinced of this mission and will continue to work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together in pairs in the next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our families, we begin to orient ourselves in this new life.”

Bill Gates, 65, who founded Microsoft in 1975, is the world’s fourth richest man, with a net worth of $ 130.5 billion, according to Forbes. In March last year, he stepped down from his role on Microsoft’s board of directors to focus exclusively on his work with the foundation.

Bill and Melinda Gates, 56, met in 1987 while working for Microsoft. Melinda, who was 24 at the time, was just starting out working as a marketing manager. Bill was 31 years old and the CEO. They married in 1994, and a year later Bill became the richest man in the world.

Bill and Melinda Gates
Bill and Melinda Gates in 2017.

Frederic Stevens / Getty

In 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was founded, a philanthropic organization that has spent $ 53.8 billion to fight poverty, disease and inequality worldwide, according to the foundation’s website. There is a charity that is one of the largest in the world invested more than $ 1.75 billion to fight COVID-19.

“There is no national solution to the global crisis,” an earlier statement on the foundation’s website said. “All countries must work together to end the pandemic and rebuild the economy.”

The foundation said in a statement late Monday that Bill and Melinda will continue to be co-chairs and trustees and have no plans to change their roles. “They will continue to work together to develop and approve the foundation’s strategies, support the foundation’s issues, and set the overall direction of the organization,” the statement said.