5 things you might not know about Melinda Gates

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Melinda Gates is well known as the husband of Microsoft Corporation MSFT co-founder Bill Gates. The couple announced this week that they will be divorcing after 27 years of marriage.

Here’s a look at Melinda Gates and how she met Bill through Microsoft and was the driving force behind helping people around the world with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

1. Interested in computers early: Melinda’s father worked on the Apollo space program while her mother stayed home with the children. When she was 14, Melinda’s father bought a Apple Inc. AAPL II computer, one of the first computers sold directly to consumers. Melinda learned computer programming on the Apple II.

2. Duke Blue Devils: Melinda had an interest in computers throughout her school years, which led her to to chase a degree in computer science. In 1986, she earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Duke University. She earned a master’s degree from Duke in business administration in 1987. After leaving Microsoft years later, Melinda Gates served as a Duke University Trustee from 1996 to 2003.

3. Meet Bill Gates: Melinda took a job at Microsoft in 1987 as a product manager. At Microsoft, Melinda worked on products like Expedia, Cinemania and Encarta. Melinda met CEO Bill Gates at a computer show and dated him for six years. The couple would marry in 1994.

Related Link: 5 Things You Might Not Know About Bill Gates

4. Push the Foundation further: As early as 1994, Bill and Melinda Gates started their foundation. The couple initially lobbied for Microsoft computers and products to be installed in libraries across the United States. Melinda lobbied for the newly formed foundation to focus on global issues such as education, disease and poverty. She restructured the foundation into three departments: Global Health, Global Development, and Community and Education in the United States.

The company’s foundation helps American students reach their full potential.

“Bill and I believe education is the great equalizer,” Melinda said in a Facebook post.

See also: How to buy Microsoft stock

5. Candidate for the position of vice-president: WikiLeaks published documents that showed Bill and Melinda were candidates in Hillary Clinton’s campaign as running mates.

“I love my day job, I’m not going anywhere,” Gates said when asked about the leak.

Gates has been focused on her philanthropic endeavors since leaving Microsoft and watching her children grow old.

Photo credit: Chatham House, Flickr

Original publication: May 2021.

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