How Bill Gates is making a difference with his $130B net worth

Bill Gates and his wife Melinda were among the world’s wealthiest couples even after giving away a big chunk of their money to charity. A look at their donations and divorce.

bill gates net worth
Bill Gates and Melinda are among the world’s most prosperous people, even if they donate much of their wealth to charity. After the divorce, difficult decisions were taken on handling their wealth after 27 years of marriage.

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The couple even went on to encourage other millionaires and billionaires to donate to worthy charities and causes and do their part to help society. Here’s a look at how Bill and Melinda Gates used their over $130 billion net worth fortune to help people. Before that, some background on the latest in their lives.

Bill Gates revolutionized how rich people use their money to help others. Using his money to help people and support social causes has always been at the forefront of the Microsoft chief’s financial design.

Net worth$130 Billion
Date of birthOctober 28, 1955
GenderMale
Height5 feet 11 inches
ProfessionBusiness magnate, software developer
NationalityUSA

The split

While they’ve decided to split after 27 years of marriage, it doesn’t mean their contributions to charity will stop. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been paving the way for opportunities and supporting causes all along the way and is set to continue.

On the day of their divorce, reports concluded that the couple didn’t sign a prenuptial agreement before they got married in 1994. Nevertheless, a prenuptial agreement wouldn’t have any effect because the separation contract supersedes any previous agreement.

Bill Gates and his net worth of billions

After dropping out of Harvard University in 1975, Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen. Microsoft manufactures personal computers, publishes books on Microsoft Press, offers email services, and sells video game systems. From being Microsoft’s chief software architect, Gates took the role of chair in 2008. In 2004, Gates joined the board of Berkshire Hathaway. However, he stepped down from both boards on March 13, 2020. 

Back in 1986, Bill Gates owned 49% of Microsoft during the initial public offering. By this time, he was already a multimillionaire during the 1980s. Soon with Microsoft’s rapid growth, Bill Gates became the world’s richest person. However, today he is in the 4th position and that is partly because of his contributions to charitable causes. Moreover, he was also surpassed because of the growth of companies like Amazon, Tesla, and LVMH. Their founders take the top three positions.

Meeting of the millionaires

Melinda met Bill Gates at Microsoft in 1987, soon after graduating with a computer science and economics degree. She is popularly known as the most powerful woman in philanthropy.

Melinda founded an investment and incubation company called Pivotal Ventures in 2015 to further social progress in the United States. She also obtained the support of MacKenzie Scott in a $40 million gender equality fund.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill Gates and Melinda Gates founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle in 2000. It is one of the world’s biggest philanthropic foundations in the United States and works in more than 130 countries to end poverty, disease, and inequity. During the COVID-19  pandemic, at least $1.75 billion were set aside as grants for vaccine drives, diagnostics, and research and development. By the end of 2019, the foundation had $43.3 billion as net assets.

How the couple supported causes

In 2000, Bill Gates’s William H. Gates Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation were merged, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was formed. He and his ex-wife Melinda Gates are still co-chairs. The foundation helped millions to battle polio and malaria. They also pledged $50 million to fight Ebola in 2014.

And as of 2021, the foundation has contributed more than $1.8 billion to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Melinda Gates and Bill Gates have donated more than $36 billion to the foundation from 1994 until 2018. Warren Buffett has donated more than $29 billion to the foundation since 2006.

In 2010, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett began the Giving Pledge. It is a campaign inviting wealthy individuals to donate a large portion of their wealth to charitable purposes. The campaign spent $5 billion (excluding management costs) on initiatives in the United States and the rest of the world.

Bill and Melinda Gates net worth

As of 2021, the co-founders of the Bill & Melinda Foundation are collectively worth a total net worth of $136.1 billion. Together, they had control of the world’s largest private charitable organization. Bill now has a net worth of $130.3 billion while Melinda has a net worth of $5.8 billion. That also makes her the richest woman to sit as the head of a philanthropic organization.

Notable donations from Bill Gates net worth

Based on the foundation’s website, the power couple gave away over $36 billion of their own wealth between the years 1994 and 2018. Another report said the Gates couple have helped fight critical health crises and donated huge chunks of their personal money for these causes.

Business tycoon Warren Buffett also pitched in with the foundation and pledged to give away over $30 billion of his wealth to the foundation and its causes.

The couple didn’t stop there. After joining hands with Buffett, they launched the Giving Pledge campaign in 2010 to encourage rich people like them to donate generously to good causes.

Want to read more about the good other rich people do with their fortune, including Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, read our blogs.

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