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Bill And Melinda Gates To Divorce

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Bill Gates, one of the richest people in the world, and his philanthropist wife Melinda Gates have decided to separate after 27 years of marriage.

The surprise decision was announced by the couple jointly in a statement posted on their Twitter accounts.

"After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," they said.

"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," adds the statement, referring to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that the couple founded together in 2000.

"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 this next phase of our lives." Bill and Melinda said about their marital life and future roles in their philanthropic organization.

The Seattle-based Foundation donated $1.75 billion to vaccine initiatives and research related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Melinda joined Microsoft as a product manager in 1987, and met Bill shortly after at a company business dinner in New York. They were married in 1997, and have three children - Jennifer Katharine Gates, 25, Rory John Gates, 21, and Phoebe Adele Gates, 18.

A Harvard University dropout, 65-year-old Bill gates is the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation. He stepped down from the software giant's board last year to focus on his philanthropic activities. From 1995 to 2017, he held the Forbes title of the richest person in the world every year except from 2010 to 2013. As of April 2021, Gates has an estimated net worth of US$146.7 billion, making him the fourth-richest person in the world.

Melinda Gates filed a petition for divorce in King County, Washington, on Monday, seeking dissolution of the marriage based on the couple's separation contract. Melinda, 56, described her marriage to the former Microsoft CEO as "irretrievably broken." The details regarding the sharing of the couple's wealth are not yet known.

Time magazine named Gates one of the 100 people who most influenced the 20th century. He has written three books: The Road Ahead, Business @ the Speed of Thought and How to Avoid a Climate Disaster.

Bill and Melinda Gates were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

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