Bill and Melinda Gates announced in May that they were getting divorced.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates opened up about his divorce from Melinda Gates, which ended their marriage of 27 years. The billionaire, in his blog summing up how 2021 was for him, said “it’s been a year of great personal sadness for me”.
Gates, 66, and his now ex-wife, 57, made the announcement on Twitter in May this year. The divorce is among the most high-profile separations in recent times. They had, however, said they would keep working together at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest charitable foundations in the world.
“Even though I think the things I’ve been working on are by far the most interesting part of my year, I know a lot of people are curious about a subject closer to home: my divorce,” Gates said in his blog which was published on Tuesday.
“Melinda and I continue to run our foundation together and have found a good new working rhythm, but I can’t deny that it’s been a year of great personal sadness for me. Adapting to change is never easy, no matter what it is. I’ve been impressed by how resilient my loved ones—especially my kids—have been in this challenging time.”
The Gateses were married in 1994 in Hawaii. They met after she began working at Microsoft as a product manager in 1987.
In her 2019 memoir, “The Moment of Lift,” Melinda Gates wrote about her childhood, life and private struggles as the wife of a public icon and stay-at-home mom with three kids. She won Bill Gates’s heart after meeting at a work dinner, sharing a mutual love of puzzles and beating him at a math game.
She also detailed the ways they navigated imbalances in their marriage and parenting journey and noted how working together at the foundation made their relationship better.
“Bill and I are equal partners,” Melinda Gates said in a 2019 interview with The Associated Press. “Men and women should be equal at work.”
In his blog, Bill Gates said his oldest daughter Jennifer’s wedding in October was his highlight of this year.
He also spoke about being an “empty nester”.
“Our youngest, Phoebe, graduated from high school and went off to college. Since my son Rory is also away at school, that means I’m officially an empty nester. The house is a lot quieter without a bunch of teenagers hanging around all the time. I miss having them at home, even if it is easier to focus on reading a book or getting work done these days,” Gates said.
Gates was formerly the world’s richest person and his fortune is estimated at well over $100 billion. He stepped down as Microsoft
president in 2008 and remained on the company's board of directors until March 2020.