Earlier this week, Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce after almost three decades of marriage.
On January 1, 1994, Bill Gates and his wife Melinda French got married, however, the two sent shockwaves to the world after announcing their divorce on Twitter.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the statement reads. “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.”
“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue to work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives,” it added. “We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
Bill and Melinda’s marriage bore three children named Jennifer, 25, Rory, 21, and Phoebe, 18.
The eldest is a medical student. Jennifer graduated from Stanford University in 2018 with a degree in human biology and is now attending medical school in New York City. She later got engaged to Nayel Nassar, a professional Egyptian equestrian, in January 2020.
“I was born into a huge situation of privilege, and I think it’s about using those opportunities and learning from them to find things that I’m passionate about and hopefully make the world a little bit of a better place,” Jennifer once said.
The second child is Rory and is believed to be studying law. Melinda wrote an essay about him for Time magazine on his 18th birthday.
“Rory is compassionate and curious,” Melinda wrote at that time. “He’s intelligent and well-read and deeply informed about the wide range of issues that interest him.”
“He’s a great son and a great brother,” she added. “He’s inherited his parents’ obsessive love of puzzles. But one of the things that makes me proudest is that Rory is a feminist.”
The youngest child is Phoebe and she studied at The School of American Ballet as well as the prestigious Juilliard School.
While the world knew that Bill Gates is the fourth richest man in the world with a net worth of $124billion, his own children are not set to inherit a fortune on his death.
The couple is believed to have raised their children in modest ways. The Gates might be living a simple life, but it will not erase the fact that Bill had struggled with the demands of work and juggling that with his family.
“We’ve just gotten to a point in life where Bill and I can both laugh about more things,” Melinda told The Sunday Times in 2019. “And, believe me, I can remember some days that were so incredibly hard in our marriage where you thought, ‘Can I do this?’”
Bill became the world’s youngest billionaire at the young age of 31 in 1987, the same year he met Melinda.