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Friday, 14 May 2021 02:34 GMT

Bill and Melinda Gates announce divorce


(MENAFN - Newsroom Panama) AFP  - Washington - Bill Gates the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, and his wife Melinda announced their divorce on Monday after 27 years of marriage.

"After much thought and work in our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," they said in a joint statement posted on Twitter.

They announced that they will continue working on their foundation, which fights poverty and

infectious diseases. "We no longer believe that we can grow together as a couple in this next stage ofour lives," said the Gates, who have three children.

"After much thought and work in our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," they said in a joint statement.

The couple, one of the wealthiest in the world with an estimated fortune of about $130 billion, announced that they will continue to work together at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which they created more than two decades ago to combat poverty, disease and inequality on the planet.

But "we no longer believe that we can grow together as a couple in this next stage of our lives," said the Gates, who have three children, without explaining the reasons for their separation.

The couple asked for "space and privacy for our family" as they begin "to navigate this new life."

Bill Gates, 65, is currently the fourth richest man in the world, according to Forbes, behind two other

Americans, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, as well as Frenchman Bernard Arnault, t ahead of

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

He created his first software programs in his parents'' garage before co-founding Microsoft. He met Melinda, now 56, when she was a young Microsoft employee in 1987, the year she graduated with a degree in computer science.

They married in 1994, and over the years they both distanced themselves from computing -

Warren Buffett has also donated billions of dollars to the agency, promising to donate most of his fortune to the foundation when he dies.

The Gates say the progress is tangible: The number of children under five who die each year has

dropped by half since 2000. "Millions more children are surviving. That makes us optimistic," the couple say

 

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