The Gates family: Who they are and what to know about them

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Bill and Melinda Gates announced this week that they will be getting a divorce after 27 years of marriage. 

According to recent reports, their split isn’t amicable and has even affected their three adult children, Jennifer, 25, Rory, 21, and Phoebe, 18.

Sources reportedly told TMZ on Thursday that “virtually everyone in the family took Melinda’s side.”

“First, we’re told this was not a friendly split,” the outlet reported. “We’re told Melinda and most of the family were furious at Bill for various things they claim he had done. Second … it’s clear this divorce has been a long time in the making.”

The Gates’ eldest daughter Jennifer also spoke publicly about the divorce, calling it a “challenging stretch of time for our whole family” in her Instagram Story after her parents’ announcement.

Here’s what else you need to know about the members of the Gates family. 

Bill Gates

Bill Gates, is the co-founder of Microsoft and the co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Though he stepped down from Microsoft completely last year, he continues to work with the foundation. (Photographer: Takaaki Iwabu/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Bill co-founded Microsoft in 1975 with his friend Paul Allen, after dropping out of Harvard. The company launched its first IPO in 1986, which made Bill — who was 31 at the time — a millionaire almost overnight. 

He served as the CEO until 2000 but remained on the board until 2020 when he announced he would be stepping down so he could focus on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Bill is also one of the wealthiest people in the world. Forbes estimates he is worth $129.1 billion. It is unclear at this point how the couple will settle their estate and how that will affect Bill’s net worth. 

Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates and Bill Gates are pictured in 2018. The two were married in 1994 and have three children. Melinda worked at Microsoft from 1987 until 1996. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Robin Hood)

Melinda was working as a product manager at Microsoft when she met Bill in 1987, Fox News previously reported.

She worked her way up in the company, moving to marketing and then becoming the General Manager of Information Products in the early 1990s.

She married Bill in 1994, two years before Melinda left Microsoft so she and Bill could start a family. They went on to have three children. 


In 2000, Melinda co-founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has since become the largest private charity in the world, according to Forbes.

When they announced their divorce on Monday, the couple said they planned to continue to work together on the foundation. 

Jennifer Gates

Bill Gates and his eldest daughter Jennifer Gates are pictured in 2018. Jennifer is a competitive equestrian.  (Photo by fotopress/Getty Images)

The Gates’ eldest daughter, Jennifer, is a competitive equestrian. She graduated from Stanford University in 2018 and started medical school soon after.

Last January, she announced her engagement to Nayel Nassar, 28, a native of Chicago who competes in equestrian events for Egypt, the homeland of his parents.

Jennifer has commented on what it was like growing up as the child of a billionaire.

“I was born into a huge situation of privilege,” Jennifer told Sidelines Magazine last summer.

“And I think it’s about using those opportunities and learning from them to find things that I’m passionate about and hopefully make the world a little bit of a better place,” she added.

Rory Gates

Rory is Bill and Melinda’s only son. 

He graduated from high school in 2018 and enrolled in the University of Chicago, FOX Business previously reported. Despite the prevalence of his family’s name, Rory Gates maintains a relatively private life.

Phoebe Gates

Phoebe Adele Gates, Bill Gates, and Melinda Gates are pictured in 2017. Phoebe is the Gates’ third and youngest child. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)

The Gates’ third child, Phoebe also keeps a low profile, like her brother. FOX Business reported last year that she had indicated on her private Instagram account bio that she was a student at Lakeside School.

Fox News’ Julius Young and FOX Business’s Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.

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