17 Melinda Gates Facts to Muse Upon in 2023

Updated · Mar 06, 2023

If we ask you who the richest person in the world is, what’d be the first name that comes to your mind? Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos, right?

But a few years ago, before their rise to prominence, your answer would be Bill Gates, without a doubt.  Although he hasn’t been number one on Forbes’ list in a few years, the founder of Microsoft is still a hot topic.

Lately, it has been in relation to conspiracy theories more than anything. Plus, his philanthropic endeavors and… well, his divorce.

His ex-wife, Melinda French, falls prey to the rumors too. But as these Melinda Gates facts below show, she’s much more than Bill Gates’ ex-wife. She’s a powerful woman—not just as Bill’s partner, but also by herself.

Keep reading to find out who Melinda Gates is and what she does.

Fascinating Facts

  • Melinda Gates was born on August 15, 1964, in Dallas, Texas.
  • In 1987, young Melinda Gates started working at Microsoft.
  • She is the co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Melinda and Bill Gates are among the world’s biggest philanthropists.
  • Bill and Melinda Gates got divorced in 2021.
  • Melinda Gates has her own company, Pivotal Ventures.
  • As of December, 2021, her net worth is $6.1 billion.

Melinda Gates Biography

To better understand Melinda’s mission and goals, we first ought to look into her personal life.

Everything from her family, through her education, to her 27-year marriage to Bill Gates shaped her into what she is now.

Read the following facts and you’ll understand what we’re talking about.

1. Melinda Gates’s birthday is on August 15.

(Source: Biography)

She was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1964. Her parents are Ray French, an aerospace engineer, and Elaine Agnes Amerland, a housewife.

2. Melinda Gates has one sister and two brothers.

(Source: Biography)

Melinda Gates grew up in a big family. She has two younger brothers and an older sister.

Their mother, Elaine, took their education pretty seriously. She didn’t go to college and regretted it, so she was dedicated to saving up tuition money for her children.

3. Melinda graduated from the Ursuline Academy in Dallas in 1982.

(Source: Preston Hollow)

The yellow pages often create crazy stuff and the question “Is Melinda Gates a guy?” is more common than you might think. We deal with facts and the answer is clearly no.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, here’s some proof. She went to an all-girls school in her hometown.

Melinda Gates claims her education helped shape her into who she is today. An especially big influence was the Ursuline Academy in Dallas.

The nuns at Ursuline were very supportive of young Melinda Gates and her peers, which she recalls fondly.

There, she met one of her first female role models—her teacher Mrs. Susan Bauer. She was the reason why the girls had access to computers and learned to code.

4. She proceeded to earn a bachelor’s degree in 1986 at Duke University.

(Source: Giving to Duke)

Melinda Gates’ education continued at Duke University, where she got her bachelor’s in computer science and economics.

One year later, she graduated with a master’s degree in business administration at the Fuqua School of Business.

5. She met Microsoft founder Bill Gates in 1987.

(Source: Biography)

Probably one of the most-known Melinda Gates facts is that she started dating Bill Gates while she was working at Microsoft.

They met at a Manhattan PC trade show in 1987. This is also the year she started working at Microsoft.

The rumors are Melinda was caught off-guard by Bill’s sense of humor. When he invited her on a date with a few weeks’ notice because of his busy schedule, she accepted.

He proposed to her in 1993, and a year later, they got married on a Hawaiian island.

6. In 2019, Melinda Gates wrote a book.

(Source: America Magazine)

“What does Melinda Gates do?” is a very common question, and for a good reason. She was a computer scientist, then a general manager, then the co-founder of a philanthropist organization.

In 2019, she added “book author” to that list. Her first and currently only book is called “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World.” It tackles the problems that women face worldwide.

7. Melinda Gates is Catholic.

(Source: America Magazine) 

This seems like an irrelevant piece of information, but there’s more than meets the eye here. In her book, she describes the conflict between her beliefs and those of her church.

However, she manages to find common ground between the two.

She disagrees with the order created by men and professed by the church that severely hurts women. That said, she claims the church has also taught her to show compassion toward those in need. That inspired her to try and make the world a better place for women.

8. Bill and Melinda Gates divorced in 2021.

(Source: The Daily Beast)

They were married for 27 years. The cause of their divorce isn’t publicly known. Rumors are it has something to do with Bill’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.

Epstein was a notorious sex offender and a friend of Bill’s even after his conviction. Reportedly, Melinda had an issue with Epstein long before the accusations that he exploited young women.

Melinda Gates Career Facts

It is well-known that Melinda started working at Microsoft even before she met Bill Gates. But not everybody knows for how long she stayed there, let alone that she is a company owner!

9. Melinda Gates landed her job at Microsoft in 1987.

(Source: Biography)

This happened just one year after she got her master’s. She started working as a product manager with a focus on developing multimedia products.

10. Melinda, Bill Gates, and his father started the William H. Gates Foundation in 1994.

(Source: Biography)

They did this in 1994—the same year Melinda and Bill got married. This foundation initially had a different goal, though.

It aimed to supply libraries around the US with computers. Microsoft computers, of course. Facts reveal Melinda Gates was the one who expanded the foundation’s scope.

11. She co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation with her ex-husband Bill Gates.

(Source: Biography)

Melinda Gates facts reveal that it wasn’t until 1999 that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation came to life. It combined the aforementioned William H. Gates Foundation and two other organizations of the Gates family.

Those were the Gates Library Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation. The new organization aimed to improve education worldwide. Later, it added addressing global health and poverty issues to its goals.

12. Melinda Gates left Microsoft in 1996.

(Source: Biography)

Reportedly, the reason for this decision was Melinda’s desire to focus on the Gates Foundation and her kids. She gave birth to her first child that year.

Melinda Gates has three children—two daughters named Jennifer Katharine and Phoebe Adele and a son named Rory John.

13. Bill and Melinda Gates remained the foundation’s chairs after the divorce.

(Source: NBC News)

With their divorce, the future of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was often questioned. Still, it seems like they ended on good terms, and both remained co-chairs.

In a tweet, Bill Gates stated that they might not work as a couple anymore but will keep working on the foundation together.

14. Melinda French Gates owns a company called Pivotal Ventures.

(Source: Pivotal Ventures)

Melinda Gates is still primarily known as the now ex-wife of Bill Gates and the co-founder of their foundation. However, she also has her own company.

Pivotal Ventures’ main goal is to ensure equal rights and social progress for everybody in the US. Women and families are the main focus.

Melinda established the company in 2015 and is still working on it. Will she devote more time and effort to it after the divorce?

Melinda Gates Net Worth Statistics

Unsurprisingly, Melinda was, and still is, a rich woman. Contrary to popular belief, though, her fortune doesn’t come just from her ex-husband.

Don’t believe us? Read the Melinda Gates stats below and see for yourself.

15. Melinda Gates has a net worth of $6.3 billion.

(Source: Forbes) 

Melinda French Gates had a formidable net worth even before her divorce. Granted, it is nothing compared to Bill Gates’ net worth, but is still impressive.

The couple did not sign a prenup agreement, but Melinda didn’t take half of Bill’s money anyway.

Still, in early May of 2021, Bill gave her $2.4 billion worth of stocks. That significantly increased Melinda Gates’ 2021 net worth.

16. In 2019, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had a $49.8 billion endowment.

(Source: Business Insider)

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s accomplishments are endless. The foundation just seems to rack up charity money.

So much money, in fact, that it’s widely considered to be the world’s biggest philanthropic foundation. The latest Bill and Melinda Gates stats further support this.

17. The Foundation spent nearly $2 billion to help fight the Coronavirus pandemic.

(Source: Business Insider)

At the time of writing, the COVID-19 pandemic is still underway. Over the past year, fighting the virus was among the foundation’s top priorities.

Melinda Gates stats reveal the company spent $1.75 billion to help deal with the pandemic.

Wrap Up

At the end of the day, things don’t seem all that different for Melinda Gates before and after her marriage. She was and still is devoted to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as to her company.

We hope that the Melinda Gates facts above helped you learn more about this powerful woman. She’s not just Bill Gates’ ex-wife, but much, much more.

Nick Galov
Nick Galov

Unaware that life beyond the internet exists, Nick is poking servers and control panels, playing with WordPress add-ons, and helping people get the hosting that suits them.