Marriage, America and the Gates Family: Bill and Melinda divorce after 27 years – BBC News in Serbian

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The couple – pictured here in 2018 – have given billions to charity

Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they are divorcing after 27 years of marriage, explaining that “they no longer believe that they can grow together as a couple.”

“After a lot of thinking and working on our relationship, we decided to end the marriage,” it is stated in a joint message on Twitter.

They met during the 1980s when Melinda started working for Microsoft.

The couple has three children and runs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The foundation has spent billions of dollars fighting infectious diseases and vaccinating children.

Gates, along with investor Warren Buffett, are behind the Giving Pledge campaign, which aims to make billionaires commit to leaving most of their wealth for charity.

Bill Gates is the fourth richest man in the world.

Forbes magazine estimates his fortune at 124 billion dollars.

He made his money primarily thanks to Microsoft, a software company founded in the 1970s.

The couple announced the decision from the divorce on Twitter.

“Over the past 27 years, we have raised three amazing children and founded a foundation that allows people around the world to lead healthy and productive lives.”

“We will continue to share faith in that mission and work together in the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of life.”

“We ask the public to give our family space and respect privacy now that we are trying to manage these new lives.”

How they met?

Melinda joined Microsoft in 1987 as a product manager, and the same year they went out to a business dinner in New York for the first time.

After that, they started going out, and Bill said in a Netflix documentary:

“We took great care of each other and there were only two options – to break up or get married.”

Melinda said that Bill was methodical even in his emotional life – once he wrote all the advantages and disadvantages of a possible marriage on the board.

They were married in 1994 on the Hawaiian island of Lanai, and reportedly hired all the local helicopters to disperse unwanted guests in the sky during the ceremony.

Bill left the board of directors of Microsoft last year, explaining that he wanted to dedicate himself to philanthropic activities.

What is the Gates Foundation?

  • The couple founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle in 2000
  • The Foundation’s work is mainly focused on public health, education and climate change
  • About $ 1.75 billion has been earmarked for vaccination and research programs during the Kovida-19 pandemic
  • In 2019, the value of the Foundation is estimated at 43 billion dollars
  • Bill and Melinda Gates “pumped” more than 36 billion dollars into the foundation from 1994 to 2018

Source: Reuters news agency

What a role Melinda played?

“Bill and I are equal partners,” she said in an interview with the AP agency two years ago.

“Men and women should be equal at work.”

In recently published memoirs The Moment of Lift, wrote about her childhood, life and personal struggles that she led as the wife of a famous person and a mother who took care of three children at home.

Working at the Foundation has improved her relationship with Bill.

“He had to learn how to be equal to someone, and I learned how to speed up so I could follow that move.”

In addition to working for the Foundation, in 2015 she founded the investment company Pivotal Ventures, which works with women and families.

“The world is finally waking up and realizing that it cannot progress if half of humanity is holding back,” she said.

“The data are clear: capable women are the ones who are changing society,” she said.

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