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splitting up

Bill and Melinda Gates announce divorce

Bill and Melinda Gates announced on Monday they are divorcing after 27 years of marriage.

Bill Gates is the co-founder of Microsoft, and the couple began dating in 1987 after Melinda Gates joined the company as a product manager. They married in 1994, and in 2000, launched the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world's largest philanthropies. Based in Seattle, the foundation has an endowment worth almost $50 billion, and focuses on education in the United States and global health and development.

In a statement, Bill and Melinda Gates said that after "a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. 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. We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives."