Bill and Melinda Gates have announced they are getting a divorce after 27 years of marriage, claiming they “no longer believe we can grow together as a couple.”
Gates announced the sad news on Twitter on Tuesday morning.
“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,” Gates wrote.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021
The Microsoft co-founder and his wife have built a combined wealth of approximately $169 billion, making them among some of the richest people on Earth. But unlike many other uber-rich couples, Bill and Melinda have used their exorbitant wealth for philanthropic endeavors through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The Giving Pledge.
The former couple will continue their work with the foundation, which is a major funder of health and disease prevention measures across the globe – including during the coronavirus pandemic.
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,” the couple said in a statement.
The news is particularly surprising considering the couple appeared together at a virtual event last month for healthcare workers during the COVID pandemic.
Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce will be the largest division of assets since the divorce of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos back in 2019.
Following the Bezos divorce, MacKenzie also signed the Giving Pledge, which means that her and the Gates’ will donate a majority of their wealth to charity before their death.
The pair share three children – Jennifer (25), Rory (21) and Phoebe (18).