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Bill and Melinda Gates separation to send shock waves through worlds of philanthropy, public health

The separation of Bill and Melinda Gates, which was announced on Monday, May 3, 2021 is likely to send shock waves through the worlds of philanthropy, public health and business, according to the New York Times.

Bill and Melinda Gates
Bill and Melinda Gates in 2019. Photo credit: Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Bill and Melinda Gates, two of the richest people in the world, who reshaped philanthropy and public health with the fortune Mr. Gates made as a co-founder of Microsoft, said on Monday that they were divorcing.

For decades, Mr. and Mrs. Gates have been singular forces on the world stage, their vast wealth affording them access to the highest levels of government, business and the non-profit sector.

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with an endowment of some $50 billion, has vast influence in fields ranging from global health to early childhood education. And over the past year, the couple has been especially visible, regularly commenting on the worldwide fight against Covid-19 as their foundation spent more than $1 billion to combat the pandemic.

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” Mr. and Mrs. Gates said in a statement that was posted to Twitter.

Mr. and Mrs. Gates went on to say that they had “built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives” but that they “no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”

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