Melinda French Gates is an American philanthropist and former employee of Microsoft Corporation with an estimated net worth of $11.5 Billion according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Melinda Gates is the former wife of Bill Gates, co-founder of software giant Microsoft Corporation. Last year in May 2021, Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage. Post finalization of her divorce, French Gates joined the club of the world’s wealthiest women.
Melinda is in the news currently as she has opened up about her divorce from Bill Gates for the first time in an interview with CBS Mornings’ Gayle King.
She also revealed about the affair Bill Gates had with a Microsoft employee in 2000. The full interview will be aired on Thursday morning.
Melinda Gates speaks about her divorce from Bill Gates and his affair
In the recent interview with the CBS news channel, French Gates said, “I certainly believe in forgiveness, so I thought we had worked through some of that. It wasn’t one moment or one specific thing that happened. There just came a point in time where there was enough there that I realized it just wasn’t healthy and I couldn’t trust what we had.”
She described that she felt angry in the aftermath of their marriage ending and said, “I was grieving a loss of something … you thought you had for your lifetime. I had a lot of tears for many days, days where I’m literally on the floor … thinking, ‘How can this be? How can I get up? How am I going to move forward?”.
More than two decades ago in 2000, she and her then-husband Bill Gates co-founded one of the world’s largest private charitable organizations the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The ex-couple was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom and the French Legion of Honour.
Let us get into more details about Melinda Gates.
Early Life of Melinda Gates
Melinda Ann French was born in the year 1964, in Dallas, Texas. She has 3 siblings, an older sister, and two younger brothers. French attended St. Monica Catholic School, where she was the topper of the class. She learned about computers at the age of 14. She developed an interest in computer games and the BASIC programming language because of her school teacher Mrs. Bauer.
French completed her graduation from Ursuline Academy of Dallas in the year 1982. She then enrolled in earned Duke University for a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics. She did her Masters in Business Administration from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in the year 1987.
French Gate started her career as a Tutor in mathematics and computer programming. After her graduation, she joined Microsoft as marketing manager for the development of multimedia products.
In 1987, Melinda began dating Microsoft CEO Bill Gates when she first met him at a trade fair in New York. She married Bill in the year 1994 in a private ceremony held in Lanai, Hawaii. The couple share three children – Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe Gates.
The family stays in an earth-sheltered mansion overlooking Lake Washington in Medina, Washington. She also owns an oceanfront residence in Del Mar, California.
Melinda and Bill Gates received the Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged in 2002. They were named Time person of the year in 2005.
Melinda and Bill Gates also got the Spanish Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation in the year 2006 for their contribution to society through charitable giving.