Billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates announce divorce after 27 years of marriage

Bill and Melinda Gates have announced they are splitting up after 27 years of marriage (Eric Piermont/AFP via Getty)

Bill and Melinda Gates – the couple who are worth $124bn and known across the globe for their philanthropy – have announced their divorce.

The couple were married for 27 years and first met when Melinda joined Bill’s Microsoft firm.

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During their marriage the billionaire pair launched the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The not-for-profit charity tries to tackle causes across the world, including infectious diseases like HIV and malaria.

Since 1994, they have invested $40bn into the foundation, which also funds IT education in the US.

The foundation also was one of the first to fund early coronavirus research.

On April 3, in a joint statement on Twitter, the couple announced their divorce.

Bill and Melinda, who have three children together, said they “no longer believe we grow together.”

They said: “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.”

Bill, 65, was the former CEO of Microsoft and made his wealth after co-creating the largest computer softwear company, in 1975.

Now, he is the fourth richest man on the planet, according to Forbes, with an estimated worth of $124bn.

Bill was already a billionaire before he married Melinda in 1994 in Hawaii after they met at a Microsoft dinner in the 1987.

Their statement added: “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 the next phase of our lives.

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

On Instagram, Bill and Melinda’s eldest daughter and medical student, Jennifer, 24, said: “It’s been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family.

"I’m still learning how to best support my own process and emotions as well as my family members at this time, and I’m grateful for the space to do so.”