Melinda Gates Net Worth, Wiki, Bio, Age, Family, Career & More

Melinda French Gates, formerly known as Melinda Gates, is a renowned American businesswoman and philanthropist with a net worth of $13 billion. She is widely recognized for her significant contributions to various philanthropic causes and for her former marriage to Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft. Their marriage, which lasted from 1994 until their high-profile divorce in 2021, was marked by their joint dedication to making a positive impact on the world through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

What Was the Divorce Settlement?

In May 2021, after 27 years of marriage, Bill and Melinda Gates announced their separation, resulting in one of the largest divorce settlements in history. Although specific terms of the settlement remain undisclosed, reports indicate that the couple did not have a prenuptial agreement. This absence led to a negotiated division of their substantial assets. Notably, Melinda received at least $10 billion worth of shares from Cascade Investments, Bill Gates’ investment firm. Despite the divorce, a significant portion of their combined wealth had already been pledged to their charitable foundation.

How Did Melinda’s Early Life Shape Her Career?

Born Melinda Ann French on August 15, 1964, in Dallas, Texas, Melinda grew up as the second of four children. Her parents, Elaine Amerland, a homemaker, and Raymond Joseph French Jr., an aerospace engineer, nurtured her interest in technology. Her father’s introduction of the Apple II sparked her passion for computer games and programming. Melinda excelled academically, graduating as valedictorian from Ursuline Academy of Dallas in 1982. She continued her education at Duke University, earning a B.S. in computer science and economics in 1986, followed by an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in 1987.

What Were Melinda’s Contributions to Microsoft?

Melinda’s professional journey began at Microsoft, where she played a pivotal role in the development of key multimedia products. As a marketing manager, she led projects like Cinemania, Encarta, Publisher, Money, Works, and Word. She was also instrumental in the early stages of Expedia, which later became a leading travel booking platform. Despite its initial commercial failure, her contributions were significant. Melinda eventually became the General Manager of Information Products before leaving Microsoft in 1996 to focus on her family.

How Did the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Come About?

In 2000, Melinda and Bill co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, headquartered in Seattle, Washington. The foundation is one of the world’s largest private charitable organizations, with assets totaling $46.8 billion. Its mission is to combat extreme poverty, improve education, and enhance healthcare globally. The Gates have donated billions to these causes, with reported contributions of around $36 billion by 2018. The foundation, managed by Bill, Melinda, and Warren Buffett, has made significant strides in various social, health, and educational sectors.

What Accolades Has Melinda Received?

Melinda’s philanthropic efforts have earned her numerous accolades. In 2002, she and Bill were honored with the Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged. In 2005, they were named “Time” magazine’s Persons of the Year, along with Bono. The couple also received the Spanish Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation in 2006 and the Insignia of the Order of the Aztec Eagle the same year. Melinda has been awarded honorary doctorates from prestigious institutions like the Karolinska Institute and the University of Cambridge. In 2013, she was appointed an honorary Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

What Is Melinda’s Personal Life Like?

Melinda and Bill Gates were married in a private ceremony on Lanai, Hawaii, in 1994. Together, they have three children: Jennifer, Phoebe, and Rory Gates. The family resides in an impressive 66,000-square-foot mansion known as Xanadu 2.0, located on the shores of Lake Washington in Medina, Washington. The home features luxurious amenities, including a private library, a 60-foot swimming pool with an underwater music system, and heated floors and driveways.

What Are Melinda’s Future Plans?

Following her resignation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in May 2024, Melinda announced her intention to diversify her philanthropic efforts. Rather than focusing solely on the Gates Foundation, she plans to donate the bulk of her fortune to various causes. This decision reflects her commitment to making a broad and lasting impact on global issues, emphasizing her belief in empowering diverse initiatives.


Melinda French Gates’ life is a testament to her dedication to philanthropy and empowerment. From her early interest in technology to her impactful work at Microsoft and her significant contributions through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda has continually sought to make a positive difference in the world. As she embarks on new philanthropic endeavors, her legacy of compassion and commitment to social causes will undoubtedly continue to inspire and benefit many.


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