Bill and Melinda Gates Are Divorcing

The couple’s separation is likely to send shock waves through the worlds of philanthropy, public health and business.,

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Bill and Melinda Gates, two of the richest people in the world, who reshaped philanthropy and public health with the fortune Mr. Gates made as a co-founder of Microsoft, said on Monday that they were divorcing.

For decades, Mr. and Mrs. Gates have been singular forces on the world stage, their vast wealth affording them access to the highest levels of government, business and the nonprofit sector. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with an endowment of some $50 billion, has vast influence in fields ranging from global health to early childhood education. And over the past year, the couple has been especially visible, regularly commenting on the worldwide fight against Covid-19 as their foundation spent more than $1 billion to combat the pandemic.

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” Mr. and Mrs. Gates said in a statement that was posted to Twitter.

Mr. and Mrs. Gates went on to say that they had “built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives” but that they “no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”

The divorce will create new questions about the fate of the Gates fortune, much of which has not yet been donated to the Gates Foundation. Mr. Gates, who co-founded Microsoft, is one of the richest people in the world, worth an estimated $124 billion, according to Forbes.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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