Bill and Melinda Gates, Two of the world’s richest people, who re-shaped philanthropy and public health with the fortune Mr. Gates made as Microsoft’s co-founder, said on Monday that they were divorcing.
For decades, Mr. and Ms. Gates have been eccentric forces on the world stage, their vast wealth giving them access to the highest levels of government, business and the non-profit sector. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with endowments of some $ 50 billion, make a wide impact in areas ranging from global health to early childhood education. And over the past year, the couple have been particularly visible, regularly commenting on the worldwide fight against Kovid-19 as their foundation spent more than $ 1 billion to combat the epidemic .
“After a lot of thoughts on our relationship and a lot of work on our relationship, we have decided to end our marriage,” Mr. and Ms. Gates said in a statement. Twitter.
Mr. and Ms. Gates said they have “built a foundation that works all over the world so that all people can live healthy, productive lives” but believes “we no longer believe we are a couple Can grow into “the next phase of our lives. “
The divorce will generate new questions about Gates’ fate, many of which have not yet been donated to the Gates Foundation. Mr. Gates, who co-founded Microsoft, is one of the wealthiest people in the world, with an estimated cost of $ 124 billion. Forbes.
“The Gates Foundation is the most important and influential philanthropic entity in the world today,” said Rob Reich, professor of political science at Stanford University. “Since the Gates Foundation is a family foundation and Gates is separating from his family, the divorce can have enormous consequences for the foundation and its work around the world.”
With 1,600 employees in offices around the world, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gives approximately $ 5 billion annually in areas such as global public health and development. The Foundation played its expertise and relationships to help create a global response to the Kovid-19 pandemic, quickly invest in vaccine candidates and help shape Kovacs, purchasing vaccines for 92 poor countries and dozens of others Global initiative of organizing nation.
“Bill & Melinda Gates helped to do big philanthropy in its current form,” said David Callahan, founder of Inside Philanthropy. “Everything has been outsourced.”
Last year, Mr. Gates stepped down A group run by his close friend Warren Buffett, from Microsoft’s board of directors, as well as Berkshire Hathaway’s board.
Mr. Buffett has donated billions of dollars to the Gates Foundation over the years, and promises to leave the majority of his fortune on the foundation when he dies. In 2010, Mr. Buffett and Gates Giving Pledge, An attempt to commit wealthy individuals to donate the majority of their wealth to charitable causes.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.