The pair married in 1994 after dating for seven years. Melinda was a program manager at Microsoft at the time. On 28 October, Bill will be 66, while Melinda will be 57 in August this year.
Melinda Gates is philosophical about the end of her marriage to Bill: “When one window closes, another one opens. And then all the windows you had open inexplicably close, you lose a day’s work and you get asked if you’d like to send an error report”.— The Shovel (@TheShovel) May 3, 2021
The break-up comes at a time when Bill is under fire for blocking the opening up of patents connected to COVID-19 vaccines so that developing countries can manufacture the vaccines cheaply.
The couple have been running a foundation for many years and putting money into ventures like vaccination campaigns. They are involved in the COVID-19 campaign in a big way.
"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," the statement said.
"We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together as a couple in the next phase of our lives."
With Bill having a fortune of about US$127 billion (A$163.8 billion), the divorce settlement is set to be only a little smaller than the one between Jeff Bezos and Mackenzie Bezos some two years ago.
The Gates have three children: Jennifer, 25, Rory, 21, and Phoebe, 18.