A 23-year-old girl named Melinda met ambitious Bill Gates, 32, at a business dinner in New York 34 years ago.
Melinda described the encounter in her book, The Moment of Lift, “I arrived late, all the tables were filled except for one, of which there were still two empty chairs side by side. I sat in one for a few minutes. Later, Gates arrived and sat at My neighborhood. "
She joined Microsoft in 1987, and had no idea that she would ever be the wife of one of the world's richest people.
But she succumbed to the heart’s talk in front of a person whose mind tends to dominate any feelings, as he used to study the positives and negatives in all his affairs, even the emotional ones, and then make crucial decisions in his life.
Seven years after the first meeting, they decided to marry, and about that period, Gates said in a documentary on Netflix, "We cared a lot for each other and there were only two possibilities: Either we separate or get married."
Melinda described Gates as being methodical even on matters of the heart, writing a list of "the pros and cons of marriage" on the blackboard.
From the wedding of Melinda and Gates in 1994 (networking sites)
In 1994 the two lovers got married on Lanai Island, Hawaii, and at the time reportedly chartered all the local helicopters to prevent unwanted guests from flying overhead.
We grew up together
Melinda described her life with Gates, saying, "We grew up together," and the couple are keen to separate work and its burdens on the threshold of their family life.
But after 27 years of a happy marriage and the birth of 3 children, the curtain falls on a marital life that seemed ideal to everyone, so that the spouses announced their separation yesterday through their official accounts, with a joint statement in which it came:
“After long thinking and a lot of work on our relationship, we made a decision to end our marriage.” And he continued, “We no longer believe that we can continue as a married couple, the next stage of our lives. Healthy and productive, we ask for space and privacy for our family, and begin the transition to this new life. "
- Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021
Lessons in a happy life
A quarter of a century after the marriage of Melinda and Gates, the couple appeared in several media interviews in 2018, during which they talked about their carefree lives that are based on patience, understanding, cooperation and discussion.
Melinda, who described Gates as easy-going, cooperates with her in many household affairs. Throughout the years of studying their children, he has been keen to share responsibilities with her, which include driving children to schools, washing dishes, and arranging all household affairs.
But the couple haven't clarified the reasons for the separation yet, and it may be kept secret for years.
Gates and Melinda presented a recipe for a successful marriage over the past 3 decades (French)
What about wealth?
The Gates' divorce announcement raised questions about the fate of their fortunes.
For decades, they were two of the most powerful influencers around the world, their massive philanthropic contributions that allowed them to reach the highest levels of government, the business sector, and the nonprofit sector.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation initiative, founded with a $ 50 billion grant, has had a tremendous impact in areas such as global health, education, early childhood, and has made great strides in reducing deaths from malaria and other infectious diseases.
Over the past year, the couple have had an amazing role, as their charity has spent more than $ 1 billion fighting the Corona pandemic.
The foundation said in a statement that Melinda and Gates will remain its co-chairs and trustees, and that no changes are expected.
However, the divorce raises new questions about the fate of Gates' estimated $ 124 billion fortune, according to Forbes, much of which has yet to be donated to the Gates charity.
"The Gates Foundation is the most important and influential philanthropic entity in the world today," Rob Reich, professor of political science at Stanford University, told the New York Times.
"The divorce could have huge repercussions on the institution and its work around the world," he said.
Melinda and Gates are signatories of an agreement with Warren Buffett called the "Giving Pledge," which is a commitment from the world's rich to donate most of their wealth to philanthropic endeavors. Buffett is the world's most famous investor in the stock market, and a personal friend of Gates's for the past 3 decades.
Gates, who co-founded Microsoft in 1975 and served as its CEO until 2000, resigned from the company's board of directors last year and has since focused most of his efforts on philanthropy.