Before announcing their divorce, Bill Gates and his wife Melinda were considered one of the most influential couples in the world. During their almost 30-year marriage, the couple seemed to have an ideal relationship, which made viewers believe that there was always love between them.
It turned out, however, that it was not love at first sight for Melinda when she met the media mogul in the 1980s. She even revealed that she turned her husband down when he first asked her out because his flirting skills were not up to par at the time.
Clearly, Melinda Gates thought Bill Gates wasn’t “spontaneous enough” when he asked her out for the first time
In 1987, Melinda Gates was a young, independent professional who had just started at Microsoft as a product manager.
Inside her first few months at the company, Melinda caught the attention of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who eventually asked her out on a date.
“He was like, ‘You know, I was thinking maybe we could go out in two weeks (tonight),'” Melinda recalled in a 2015 interview with AOL’s Makers, according to ABC News.
But she was quick to rebuff his advances.
“Two weeks from today? I have no idea what I’m going to do in two weeks…. You’re not spontaneous enough for me,” Melinda told her future husband.
Despite her rejection, Gates was still determined to win Melinda over and called her an hour or two later to ask her out again.
“‘Is this spontaneous enough for you?'” Melinda remembers her husband telling her at the time. “And I said, ‘OK, I guess that’s pretty spontaneous. I guess we can give it a try.'”
Miranda Gates fell in love with her husband’s intelligence and drive
After Melinda accepted Bill’s offer to date him, the two began a romance that lasted for many years.
In 2015, Melinda told Fortune magazine that she fell in love with the media mogul’s intelligence and desire for a good time, which is what she loves most about him.
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“I was definitely attracted to his brilliant mind, but beyond that, his curiosity,” she told the magazine. “And he has a great sense of fun. I love that quirky side of him.”
After a seven-year engagement, the couple married on Jan. 1, 1994, in a private wedding ceremony at the Manele Bay Hotel in Hawaii.
Over the years, Bill and Melinda had three children together, Jennifer Katharine (25), Rory John (21) and Phoebe Adele (18).
The two not only started a family together, but also worked closely together to establish various charities.
In addition to the Gates Learning Foundation and the Gates Millennium Scholars program, the couple also founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a “nonprofit foundation that fights poverty, disease and injustice around the world,” according to its website.
The foundation itself is now worth more than $40 billion, according to People.
Bill and Melinda Gates just announced their divorce
After 27 years of marriage, Melinda and Bill Gates have announced that they are officially parting ways.
The couple shared the news of their separation in a joint statement posted on their respective Twitter accounts on May 3, 2021.
“After careful consideration and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the statement reads. “Over the past 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works around the world to help all people live healthy, productive lives.
– Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021
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“We continue to share a belief in this mission and will continue our work together at the Foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives,” the statement continued. “We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
According to People, Melinda was the one who filed for divorce, stating in an official document that her marriage to Bill was “irretrievably broken.”
The paper reports that the couple does not have a prenuptial agreement, but plans to divide their assets according to a separation agreement.
It is also noted that “spousal support is not required” as the couple “will each be responsible for their own future accrued debts” going forward