Bill Gates and Melinda Gates Announce End of Marriage

The couple is divorcing after 27 years

Melinda Gates and Bill Gates
Melinda Gates and Bill Gates speak on stage during The Robin Hood Foundation's 2018 benefit at Jacob Javitz Center.
Getty Images for Robin Hood

For observers of the long-term marital stability of the billionaire class, the last few years have made for rough viewing. Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott divorced in 2019, making for a particularly high-profile split. Now, another long-running marriage involving a tech magnate has also reached its end: via Twitter, Bill and Melinda Gates have announced the end of their 27-year marriage.

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” Bill Gates wrote earlier this afternoon. He went on to cite their three children and the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation around the world.

Gates’s tweet answered a few questions that some might have about the split — specifically, that the two “will continue our work together at the foundation.” In recent months, the foundation has given a substantial amount of money for COVID-19 relief efforts; however, Bill Gates’s views on vaccine patents have led to some controversy and criticism.

CNBC’s report on the divorce notes that “[f]inancial details are not yet clear” and points out that Bill Gates’s shares in Microsoft are presently valued at $26 billion. His overall net worth is closer to $124 billion, according to NBC News.

As Andrew Ross Sorkin and David Gelles wrote for The New York Times, the announcement itself comes as massive news, but as specifics emerge, those could be even more disruptive. The specific effects this will have on the worlds of both technology and philanthropy — and the places where they overlap — remain to be seen. But it’s a virtual guarantee that those effects will be substantial.

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