By Our Reporter
The divorce petition filed by American billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates, co-founders of one of the world’s largest private charitable foundations, has left many people across the world bewildered, since many people looked up to them for inspiration as a successful and wealthy couple that had withered all the storms that invade marriages.
Bill and Melinda Gates filed for divorce on Monday, May 3rd, 2021, after 27 years of marriage and now assert they can no longer live together as man and wife.
Bill Gates, 65, who co-founded Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), and his spouse, Melinda French Gates, 56, met after she joined the software giant as a product manager, and they dated for a few years before marrying in January 1994 in Hawaii.
In a joint petition for dissolution of marriage, the couple asserted their legal union was “irretrievably broken,” but said they had reached agreement on how to divide their marital assets.
But no details of that accord were disclosed in the filing in King County Superior Court in Seattle.
Commenting about their collapsed marriage, they both tweeted thus; “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.”
“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,” they added.
The divorce petition, which states that the couple have no minor children, comes after the youngest of their three offspring recently turned 18.
However, despite their marital differences, they both pledged to continue their philanthropic work together under the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
It should be noted that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has become one of the most powerful and influential forces in global public health, spending more than $50 billion over the past two decades to bring a business approach to combating poverty and disease.
The Gates have backed widely praised programs in malaria and polio eradication, child nutrition and vaccines. The foundation last year committed some $1.75 billion to COVID-19 relief.
Launched in 2000, the nonprofit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ranks as the largest private philanthropic foundation in the United States and one of the world’s biggest, with net assets of $43.3 billion at the end of 2019, according to the latest full-year financials shown on its website.
From 1994 through 2018, the couple gifted more than $36 billion to the Seattle-based foundation, the website said.
Last year, investor Warren Buffett reportedly donating over $2 billion of stock from his Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) to the Gates Foundation as part of previously announced plans to give away his entire fortune before his death.
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