Technology Bill and Melinda Gates: A relationship timeline
Jennifer Gates Says Parents' Divorce Is 'a Challenging Stretch of Time for Our Whole Family'
On Monday, Bill and Melinda announced they were divorcing after 27 years of marriage "Thank you for understanding our desire for privacy while we navigate the next phases of our lives," she concluded. © Provided by People jennifer gates/instagram Gallery: Bill and Melinda Gates’ Love Story Revisited: A Timeline (US Weekly) RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates Announce Divorce: 'We No Longer Believe We Can Grow Together as a Couple' On Monday, Bill and Melinda announced they were divorc .
Bill and Melinda Gates announced the end ofMonday, shocking the business and philanthropic worlds.
"After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on, we have made the decision to end our marriage," the couple, well-known for their wealth and commitment to philanthropy, said in a statement.
The pair spent nearly three decades together in a relationship that focused on philanthropy, work and family. Together, they were one of the richest and most philanthropic power couples in the world.
Bill Gates Once Said He Wished He Had Thanked Melinda More 2 Years Before Separating
The pair announced Monday that they are getting divorced after 27 years of marriageThe news of the philanthropists' separation comes two years after they both appeared in the Netflix docuseries Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates. While the series covered a range of topics, both Bill and Melinda opened up about their relationship — with Bill revealing that he wished he thanked his wife more.
Here's a timeline that breaks down the biggest moments of their relationship.
1987: Meeting at Microsoft
Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft, which launched in 1975, and he met Melinda French through the company in 1987. At the time, Bill was the CEO of Microsoft and Melinda worked in product development.
But it was hardly love at first sight. "When we first met, she had other boyfriends, and I had Microsoft," Bill said in a 2019 Netflix docuseries "Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates." Melinda echoed that sentiment in the docuseries, saying, "I was new to Microsoft. There were a lot of men there."
1993: Making it official
In 1993, Bill proposed to Melinda. Shortly after getting engaged, the pair was spotted sharing a Coca-Cola at a Seattle Sonics basketball game, a moment that was captured by news stations at the time.
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1994: Walking down the aisle
Bill and Melinda Gates tied the knot on New Year's Day in 1994 at the island of Lanai in Hawaii. Warren Buffett was among the guests. They tried to keep it, booking all the empty rooms at the hotel where their guests were and hiring all the island's helicopters to keep paparazzi at bay. Even so, some reporters and photographers nearly got through before being intercepted by security personnel and driven to Lanai Airport to leave the island,
1995: Microsoft launches Windows 95
On August 24, 1995, Microsoft released Windows 95, an operating system that revolutionized technology.
"We knew we were changing the world," Melinda said in "Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates," recalling her experience at Microsoft. "Every time we put out a product, it changed things for people."
Bill Gates Transferred Nearly $2.4 Billion Worth of Stock to Melinda on the Day They Announced Divorce
The Microsoft co-founder remains the fourth richest man in the world.According to SEC filings, Cascade Investment -- which Bill manages -- transferred nearly $2.4 billion in securities to Melinda on Monday, May 3. The transfer includes shares from AutoNation, Canadian National Railway Co., Coca-Cola Demsa and Mexican broadcaster Grupo Televisa SA. According to Forbes, even after the over $2 billion transfer, Bill remains the fourth richest person in the world, worth $128.1 billion.
It was a year filled with teaching moments. In 1995, Melinda gave a demo from a project she led called Microsoft Bob — a software product with virtual rooms and characters that was intended to provide a more user-friendly interface. It was an experience she called a failure in. "The program needed a more powerful computer than most people had back then, and a lot of critics found the visuals too cute," she said. Ultimately, the project was killed, but she said some of its features wound up in other Microsoft products in later years.
1996: Welcoming their first kid
Bill and Melinda welcomed their first daughter, Jennifer, in 1996. Now 25, Jennifer attends the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She posted about her parents' split on Instagram Monday, saying, "It's been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family."
1999: A son is born
The couple's son, Rory, was born in 1999. He is now 21 years old. "He's a great son and a great brother,"in 2017. "But one of the things that makes me proudest is that Rory is a feminist," she said.
Melinda Gates Called Divorce Lawyers in 2019 After Epstein Report: WSJ
The announcement that Bill and Melinda Gates are getting divorced came as a surprise last week, but she has reportedly been talking to lawyers for at least two years—since around the time her husband’s dealings with Jeffrey Epstein made headlines. The report by The Wall Street Journal builds on an exclusive story by The Daily Beast last week that revealed Melinda Gates had deep misgivings about Epstein and warned the Microsoft founder about the pedophile after a meeting in 2013.
2000: Forming the foundation
Thewas founded in 2000, and it is funded by the couple's personal wealth as well as several other Gates family foundations and a gift pledged by Warren Buffett. Since 2000, the foundation has spent nearly $54 billion on a wide range of initiatives related to global health, poverty alleviation and more since then, .
"We listen and respect each other and then we come to a common viewpoint and that's what we take forward," Melinda said in "Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates," referring to their foundation work.
On Monday, after the couple's divorce was announced, the foundation released a statement. "Bill and Melinda will remain co-chairs and trustees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. No changes to their roles or the organization are planned," it said. "They will continue to work together to shape and approve foundation strategies, advocate for the foundation's issues, and set the organization's overall direction."
2002: Second daughter is born
In 2002, their second daughter and youngest child, Phoebe, is born.
2005: Time Magazine's Persons of the Year
In December 2005, Time Magazine named Bill and Melinda Gates the Persons of the Year alongside U2 frontman Bono, calling them "The Good Samaritans." In January of that year, their foundation committed $750 million to improving access to child immunizations, accelerating introduction of new vaccines and strengthening vaccine delivery systems,.
Bill and Melinda Gates: China can't stop talking about their divorce
The divorce of Bill and Melinda Gates has sent shockwaves though China, where the Microsoft co-founder has achieved a level of fame unlike almost any other Western entrepreneur. © Elaine Thompson/AP In this Feb. 1, 2019, file photo, Bill and Melinda Gates smile at each other during an interview in Kirkland, Wash. The "Bill Gates' divorce" hashtag had generated more than 830 million views and 66,000 discussion posts on China's Twitter-like platform Weibo by Wednesday — far surpassing the 91 million views accumulated when Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott divorced in 2019.
"We're grateful that Time recognizes the importance of the world's inequities, whether they are in the United States or thousands of miles away," the coupleafter the announcement was made. "We realize that we've been extremely fortunate in business, and we want to give back in ways that can do the most good for the most people. But we also believe that everyone has something to offer — time, money, or energy — that can help others," they added.
2010: Foundation's big vaccine donation
The Gates Foundation announced it wouldfor vaccine research over the next 10 years to help research, develop and deliver vaccines — including vaccines to prevent severe diarrhea and pneumonia — to the world's poorest countries.
In 2020, as coronavirus spread across the globe, the Gates Foundationmore than $1.7 billion to support the "research, development and equitable delivery" of tools to fight Covid-19, including tests, treatments and vaccines.
2015: Melinda launches Pivotal Ventures
Melinda Gates launched Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company, in 2015. Gatesspecifically focuses on "dismantling the barriers to women's professional advancement."
In 2019, sheto expand women's power and influence, and over the next 10 years, she said, the company will distribute that money to partners who are implementing innovative strategies to advance women's power and leadership.
2021: The end
Bill and Melinda Gates announced their split in a simple, four sentence statement posted to social media Monday: "After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. 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 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. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life."
Fact Check: Was Billionaire Bill Gates Arrested This Week? .
A story claiming a person named Bill Gates was detained by police in relation to a "knife incident" has circulated on social media this week. Here's what we know.The philanthropist is no stranger to unfounded conspiracy theories—most recently that he was funding efforts to "block the sun" from reaching Earth to reduce climate change and that he had once received computer lessons as a child from the singer Shakira.