Bill And Melinda Gates Are Splitting Up After 27 Years Of Marriage
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Bill and Melinda Gates have announced they are splitting up after 27 years of marriage.
The Microsoft co-founder said he is proud of what he and Melinda have achieved over nearly three decades.
Posting a joint statement to Twitter, the tech billionaire wrote: "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 this next phase of our lives.
"We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life."
They founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which states its aims as 'improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty in developing countries'.
The Foundation has also invested billions of dollars in fighting infectious diseases and getting vaccines to children in need.
The couple met in the late 1980s, when Melinda joined her soon-to-be husband's Microsoft firm, before marrying on 1 January 1994. They have three children.
More recently, Bill has declared his concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, warning that the world needs to be better prepared for future pandemics.
In an interview with Sky News, the billionaire - who correctly predicted the greatest risk of 'global catastrophe' over the next few decades would be a highly infectious virus - said there were lessons that could be learned about how things were handled.
He said: "Because we didn't practice, it's clear that understanding variants and understanding how quickly you can do the regulatory stuff, when this comes up again, we could be a lot smarter.
"People didn't invest enough in this risk... so I hope we keep in mind that we do need to invest and be ready for the next pandemic."
He went on to say that now the world must start to think of the future and not forget about the pandemic.
He added: "I'm very pleased that the UK is making pandemic preparedness, both finishing this pandemic and thinking through what happens next, a real priority.
"I'm worried that we'll forget about it. The Ebola epidemic was the time I thought people would be interested and I was out talking about what we needed to do.
"I do think because trillions were lost, that this generation will remember this."