Bill and Melinda Gates announced on Monday they were ending their 27-year marriage.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” they said in a joint statement.
“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives.”
The statement added that they no longer “believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
The couple in 2000 founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a private philanthropic organization which funds research and advocacy work across the globe, including in some of the world’s most impoverished nations.
The foundation has given billions to support issues like global health, development and education, as well as combating climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr. and Ms. Gates have won great praise for their efforts, but the foundation has also received a fair share of criticism for working to protect the intellectual property rights of private companies. That has come into focus now more than ever as many national governments have pressed for open access to Covid vaccines to put an end to the pandemic.
Bill Gates, who co-founded Microsoft in 1975 and served as its chief executive until 2000, stepped down from the company’s board last year and has since focused the majority of his efforts on philanthropy.
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