Bill Gates took marriage so seriously that he once listed the pros and cons on one board.
Microsoft co-founder and Melinda Gates – who announced she was divorced on Monday after 27 years – discussed the case in the 2019 Netflix “Inside Bill’s Brain” series.
Melinda, 56, laughed when she remembered that she had entered Bill’s list and remarked, “She had to make a decision” on whether to tie the knot.
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“I took the idea of marriage very seriously,” Bill explained in the documentary.
According to CNBC, they met at a dinner in New York in 1987, shortly after Melinda joined Microsoft as product manager.
After a date of about a year, the two were at a crossroads.
“You know, we cared a lot about each other and there were only two options: either break up or get married,” Bill, 65, said in the series.
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“She wanted to be married, but she didn’t know if she could really commit and [run] Microsoft, Melinda added.
The couple finally got married in 1994 in Hawaii. Two years later, Melinda left the technology company to focus on starting a family. Bill and Bill now have three children: Jennifer (25), Rory (21) and Phoebe (19).
The couple started the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 and built it into perhaps the largest and most influential philanthropic organization in the world.
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On the Netflix show, Bill said he and Melinda were “truly equal partners.”
“He is very similar to me in that he is optimistic and interested in science. With better people than me,” he said.
Two remain co-chairs and trustees of the foundation, stating in a statement that they “do not plan to change their role or organization”.
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The Gateses, who have long been recognized for their promise for their deep pockets, charity, and sale of 95 percent of their wealth, are known for their work on social justice and humanitarian issues, and have never been those who have publicly pursued extravagant lifestyles.
It is apparent from the divorce petition filed by TMZ that Melinda applied for a divorce, claiming that the marriage had been “irrevocably interrupted”.