Bill and Melinda Gates, the influential billionaire couple in charge of the world’s largest private foundation, are divorcing after 27 years of marriage, the pair announced on May 3. Bill and Melinda will remain co-chairs of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and they will continue to work together to shape the strategies of the foundation and set the organization’s direction, according to a spokesperson. The shock announcement leaves several questions about the Gates fortune unanswered. It’s unclear how the couple will divide their assets or whether they signed a prenup, but due to the sheer size of their fortune, the split will likely be one of the largest divorce settlements in history. Bill Gates, who in 1975 cofounded Microsoft, is worth $130.5 billion, making him the fourth richest person in the world, according to Forbes. Gates first became the world’s richest person—with a $12.9 billion fortune—in 1995, one year after he married Melinda. In this interview from 2014, Gates discusses what it was like to transition from his role at Microsoft to his role as one of world’s leading philanthropists.
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