In May 2021, the cofounders of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced they were going their separate ways. “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” they shared via Twitter. “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 continued: “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.”
The former couple wed in Lanai, Hawaii, in January 1994. They went on to welcome three children: Jennifer, Rory and Phoebe.
When the tech mogul and the Duke University grad finalized their divorce in August 2021, there was no child support granted as their daughters and son are adults. The following March, Melinda opened up about her emotional breakup.
“I think it’s really important to say, look, I had a lot of tears for many days,” she told CBS Mornings. “I mean, [I had] days where I’m literally laying on the floor and the carpet, you know, this close to me, thinking, ‘How can this be? How can I get up? How am I gonna move forward?’ And days I certainly was angry. That’s part of the grieving process. You’re grieving a loss of something you thought you had and thought you had for your lifetime. I mean, this is painful stuff.”
Despite the end of her marriage, the Texas native felt “really excited” about her next chapter. “At the end of the day, though, I started on this journey of healing, and I feel like I’m starting to get to the other side. And I do feel like I’m turning a page in the chapter now,” she said.
Ahead of their divorce, the duo created one of the largest charitable organizations in the world, working together on social causes close to their hearts. Over the years, Bill and Melinda made a commitment to redistribute a significant amount of their wealth to those in need.
“It’s absolutely a partnership of equals,” the former computer scientist gushed to CBS Sunday Morning in 2017 of collaborating with her then-husband. “It’s important to both of us that the world understands that we are running this place together. This is our joint values being played out in the world.”
Scroll down for a look inside the exes’ divorce: