In joint statements posted on Twitter Monday afternoon, Bill Gates, 65, and Melinda French Gates, 56, announced the decision to end their marriage after agreeing they “no longer” could grow together as a couple in the next phase of their life.
“After a great deal of though and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” both said in a dual Twitter statements.
“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 phrase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
— Melinda French Gates (@melindagates) May 3, 2021
The two began dating in 1987 before getting married on New Year’s Day in 1994.
The couple formed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, a private philanthropic organization that helps initiatives around the world. The Gates Foundation has donated around $50 billion to charity.
Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft in 1975. He’s one of the world’s wealthiest men — ranking fourth worldwide — with a net worth of reportedly $130 billion.
Melinda Gates ranked fifth on Forbes’ world’s most power womens’ list in 2020. She launched Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company to advance social progress in the US, in 2015.