bill

Bill and Melinda Gates announce divorce after 27 years of marriage

They have three children

Rebecca Lewis

Bill and Melinda Gates have sadly announced they are getting a divorce after 27 years.

The pair, who met in the 1980s, confirmed the news on social media.

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

MORE: Hello! Kind List: Bill and Melinda Gates

bill and melinda

The pair made the announcement on social media

“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," the statement read.

"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 the next phase of our lives.

"We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life."

They met when Melinda joined Bill's company Microsoft.

They married in 1994 in Hawaii, reportedly after Bill filled out a pro/con list with Melinda.

Together, they have three children together - Jennifer, Rory and Phoebe.

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Bill and Melinda with the Queen in 2005

In 2000 they launched the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which they run together.

The pair's philanthropic efforts have been well documented, and the Foundation funds health research and advocacy work across the globe, including some of the world's most impoverished nations. It also aims to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology in the U.S.

Bill and Melinda are also known for vowing to give way half of their wealth through the Giving Pledge and the Foundation.

bill and melinda 1998

They married in 1994

As the coronavirus crisis deepened, they committed $105million and a further $160million, making them the second-largest donors to the World Health Organisation behind America.

The aim is to improve detection and distribute a vaccine to developing countries, particularly in South Asia and Africa, where a lot of the foundation's funds are directed.

Based in Washington, where the Gates' live, it is thought to be the largest private foundation in the world.

bil melinda children

They have three children; pictured here with daughter Phoebe

Bill stepped down from a full-time role at Microsoft to focus in the foundation, and in 2020 left his board positions at Microsoft to focus solely on his philanthropic efforts.

For much of the 21st century, Bill has been the richest man on Earth; in 2017 he was surpassed by Jeff Bezos.

As of April 2021, he was estimated to have a net worth of $146.7billion, making him the third-richest person in the world.

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