Melinda French Gates

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Melinda Gates)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Melinda French Gates
Melinda Gates, speaking at the London Summit on Family Planning crop.jpg
French Gates in 2012
Born
Melinda Ann French

(1964-08-15) August 15, 1964 (age 57)
NationalityAmerican
EducationDuke University (BA, MBA)
OccupationCo-Chair and Founder, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Founder, Pivotal Ventures
Spouse(s)
(m. 1994; div. 2021)
[1]
Children3
AwardsPresidential Medal of Freedom (ribbon).svg Presidential Medal of Freedom (2016)
WebsiteProfile

Melinda French Gates [3] (born Melinda Ann French; August 15, 1964) is an American philanthropist and former computer scientist and general manager at Microsoft. French Gates has consistently been ranked as one of the world's most powerful women by Forbes.[4]

In 2000, she and her then-husband Bill Gates co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private charitable organization as of 2015.[5] She and her ex-husband have been awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom and the French Legion of Honour. In early May 2021, Bill and Melinda Gates announced they were getting divorced but will still remain co-chairs of the foundation.[6]

Early life[edit]

Melinda Ann French was born on August 15, 1964, in Dallas, Texas.[7][8][9] She is the second of four children born to Raymond Joseph French Jr., an aerospace engineer, and Elaine Agnes Amerland, a homemaker. She has an older sister and two younger brothers.[10]

French, a Catholic, attended St. Monica Catholic School, where she was the top student in her class.[11][12] At age 14, French was introduced to the Apple II by her father, and a school teacher named Mrs. Bauer who advocated teaching the students at the all-girls school computer science.[13] It was from this experience she developed her interest in computer games and the BASIC programming language.[14]

French graduated as valedictorian from Ursuline Academy of Dallas in 1982.[15] She earned a bachelor's degree in computer science and economics from Duke University in 1986 and an MBA from Duke's Fuqua School of Business in 1987.[16] At Duke, French was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, Beta Rho Chapter.[17]

Career[edit]

French Gates in 2011

French Gates's first job was tutoring children in mathematics and computer programming.[18] After graduation, she became a marketing manager with Microsoft, being responsible for the development of multimedia products.[19] These included Cinemania, Encarta, Publisher, Microsoft Bob, Money, Works (Macintosh) and Word.[19][20] She worked on Expedia, which became one of the most popular travel booking websites. In the early 1990s, French Gates was appointed as General Manager of Information Products, a position which she held until 1996.[21][22] She left Microsoft that year, reportedly, to focus on starting a family.[21]

French Gates served as a member of Duke University's Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2003.[23] She attends the annual Bilderberg Group conference and has held a seat on the Board of Directors of Graham Holdings (formerly The Washington Post Company) since 2004.[24] She was also on the board of directors at Drugstore.com but left in August 2006 to focus on philanthropic projects.[25][22] Since 2000, French Gates has been active in the public eye, stating "As I thought about strong women of history, I realized that they stepped out in some way".[19] This has helped her work become recognized while also shaping and delivering goals of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. By 2014, Bill and Melinda had donated US$28 billion of their personal wealth to the Foundation.[26] In 2015, French Gates founded Pivotal Ventures as a separate, independent organization to identify, help develop and implement innovative solutions to problems affecting U.S. women and families.[27]

Writing[edit]

In 2019, French Gates debuted as an author with the book The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World. Former President Barack Obama starred in a comedy sketch in order to promote it.[28][29] The book highlights the failure to acknowledge women's unpaid work, drawing on feminist economist Dame Marilyn Waring's book If Women Counted.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Melinda and her then-husband, Bill, in 2009

Melinda began dating Microsoft CEO Bill Gates in 1987, after meeting him at a trade fair in New York.[7][31] In 1994, she married Gates in a private ceremony held in Lanai, Hawaii. They have three children: Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe Gates.[32] The family resides in an earth-sheltered mansion overlooking Lake Washington in Medina, Washington.[33] The family also owns an oceanfront residence in Del Mar, California.[34][35]

In May 2021, French Gates and her husband announced in a joint statement on social media their decision to divorce, ending 27 years of marriage, and 34 years as a couple.[36] According to the Wall Street Journal, French Gates had met with divorce lawyers since at least October 2019 after her husband's business dealings with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein became public, and had warned her husband about associating with him as far back as 2013.[37][38][39] Although the couple did not have a prenuptial agreement,[39] French Gates (who filed) did not request spousal support;[38] her husband transferred over $2 billion worth of shares and stocks.[40] The divorce was finalized on August 2, 2021.[1]

In March 2022, Melinda said that she and Bill were "friendly" but "not friends".[41]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2002, Melinda and Bill Gates received the Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards.[42]

In December 2005, Melinda and Bill Gates were named by Time as Persons of the Year alongside Bono.[43] Melinda and Bill Gates received the Spanish Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation on May 4, 2006, in recognition of their world impact through charitable giving.[44]

In November 2006, French Gates was awarded the Insignia of the Order of the Aztec Eagle, together with Bill, who was awarded the Placard of the same order, both for their philanthropic work around the world in the areas of health and education, particularly in Mexico, and specifically in the program "Un país de lectores".[45]

Front building of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle

In May 2006, in honor of her work to improve the lives of children locally and around the world, Seattle Children's Hospital dedicated the Melinda French Gates Ambulatory Care building[46] at Seattle Children's (formerly Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center).[47] She chaired a campaign for the hospital to fundraise $300 million to expand facilities, fund under-compensated and uncompensated care, and grow the hospital's research program to find cures and treatments.[48]

In 2007, French Gates received an honorary doctorate in medicine from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.[49] In 2009, she and her husband received honorary degrees from the University of Cambridge. Their benefaction of $210 million in 2000 set up the Gates Cambridge Trust, which funds postgraduate scholars from outside the UK to study at the university.[50][51] Lastly, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Duke University in 2013 as a tribute for her philanthropic commitment.

She was ranked #3 in Forbes 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 lists of the 100 Most Powerful Women,[52] #4 in 2012 and 2016, #5 in 2020, and #6 in 2011, 2018, and 2019.

She was awarded the UCSF medal in 2013.[53] French Gates was appointed an honorary Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2013 for services to philanthropy and international development.[54] In recognition of the foundation's philanthropic activities in India, Bill and Melinda jointly received India's third-highest civilian honor, Padma Bhushan, in 2015.[55] In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded French Gates and her husband with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their philanthropic efforts.[56]

In 2017, President François Hollande awarded France's highest national honour to French Gates and her husband for their charitable efforts, i.e. as Commander of the Legion of Honour.[57] That year, she was awarded the Otto Hahn Peace Medal 2016 of the United Nations Association of Germany (DGVN), Berlin-Brandenburg, "for outstanding services to peace and international understanding" in the historic Berlin Town Hall.[58][59] That year, French Gates was listed by UK-based company Richtopia at number 12 in the list of 200 Most Influential Philanthropists and Social Entrepreneurs Worldwide.[60][61]

Women in technology[edit]

French Gates's experience of a male-dominated workplace at Microsoft inspired her to encourage more women in the computing field.[62] In September 2016, she announced her desire to increase diversity in the workplace, especially in the technology industry, stating: "Every company needs technology, and yet we're graduating fewer women technologists. That is not good for society. We have to change it."[63] French Gates also spoke about this topic at the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, an annual series of conferences.[64]

Bibliography[edit]

  • The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World (2019) ISBN 978-1-250-31357-7

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Novet, Jordan (August 2, 2021). "Bill and Melinda French Gates are officially divorced following 27-year marriage". CNBC. Archived from the original on August 3, 2021. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  2. ^ "Forbes Profile: Melinda Gates". Forbes. Archived from the original on May 7, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  3. ^ King County Superior Court Clerk (May 3, 2021). "Gates Petition for Divorce" (PDF). TMZ. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 12, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2021 – via The Washington Post.
  4. ^ "Power Women". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 19, 2019. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  5. ^ Mathiesen, Karl (March 16, 2015). "What is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on April 25, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  6. ^ "Gates Foundation sets 2-year, post-divorce power share trial". ABC News.
  7. ^ a b "Office romance: how Bill met Melinda". The Independent. October 23, 2011. Archived from the original on May 24, 2021. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  8. ^ "Melinda Gates biography". biography.com. A&E Television Networks. March 15, 2018. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  9. ^ Harris, Paul (November 25, 2006). "A woman of substance". The Guardian. Archived from the original on August 7, 2017. Retrieved May 24, 2021. Melinda Ann French was born in Dallas on 15 August 1964.
  10. ^ "Melinda Gates goes public (pg. 2)" Archived May 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, cnn.com, January 7, 2008.
  11. ^ Jeanne M. Lesinski (2009). Bill Gates: Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Twenty First Century Books. p. 61. ISBN 978-1-58013-570-2. Retrieved March 10, 2011. Melinda, a devout Catholic, wanted a religious wedding
  12. ^ Business Week, Issues 3649–3652. McGraw-Hill. 1999. Archived from the original on September 12, 2021. Retrieved March 10, 2011. Raised a Roman Catholic and educated at a girls' Catholic high school, Ursaline Academy in Dallas, Melinda was encouraged to pursue her love of science
  13. ^ Gates, Melinda, 1964- (January 12, 2021). The moment of lift : how empowering women changes the world. ISBN 978-1-250-25772-7. OCLC 1097579369. Archived from the original on September 12, 2021. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  14. ^ "Office romance: how Bill met Melinda". The Independent. June 27, 2008. Archived from the original on September 29, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  15. ^ "Ursuline Receives Additional $2 Million Grant; Science, Math, Technology Building Task Force is Formed". Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Archived from the original on September 23, 2017. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  16. ^ Mary Zeiss Stange; Carol K. Oyster; Jane E. Sloan (January 9, 2013). The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World. SAGE Publications. pp. 386–. ISBN 978-1-4522-7037-1. Archived from the original on September 12, 2019. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  17. ^ "The incredible life of Melinda Gates — one of the world's richest and most powerful women". November 1, 2017. Archived from the original on March 25, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  18. ^ Staff, Fast Company (January 9, 2017). "How Melinda Gates Is Diversifying Tech". Fast Company. Archived from the original on December 18, 2019. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  19. ^ a b c Cathleen., Small (2017). Melinda Gates : Philanthropist and Education Advocate. New York, NY: Cavendish Square Publishing LLC. ISBN 978-1-5026-2708-7. OCLC 1039680502.
  20. ^ "Office Romance: How Bill met Melinda". The Independent. 2008. Archived from the original on September 29, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  21. ^ a b Honders, Christine (July 15, 2016). Melinda Gates. New York. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-5081-4832-6. OCLC 921141343. Archived from the original on September 12, 2021. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  22. ^ a b "Melinda Gates". gatesfoundation.org. Gates Foundation. Archived from the original on March 15, 2021. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  23. ^ Gates Joins Trustees Archived August 2, 2012, at archive.today, Fuqua.duke.edu; retrieved June 29, 2013.
  24. ^ "Melinda French Gates Elected a Director of The Washington Post Company". Graham Holdings Company. Archived from the original on August 3, 2020. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  25. ^ "Officers and Directors". Drugstore.com. 2005. Archived from the original on February 7, 2006. Retrieved February 14, 2008.
  26. ^ Bill Gates philanthropy profile Archived August 20, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, forbes.com; retrieved April 23, 2016.
  27. ^ Pivotal Ventures-Who we are Archived April 18, 2020, at the Wayback Machine, pivotalventures.org; retrieved April 17, 2020.
  28. ^ Darrisaw, Michelle (May 10, 2019). "Barack Obama Is the Ultimate Funny Guy in a Video Made for Melinda Gates". Oprah Magazine. Archived from the original on May 13, 2019. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  29. ^ "Melinda Gates draws huge crowd for hometown finale of 'Moment of Lift' tour, with surprise intro". GeekWire. May 10, 2019. Archived from the original on May 10, 2019. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  30. ^ "Book excerpt: Melinda Gates' 'The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World'". ABC News. April 23, 2019. Archived from the original on April 20, 2021. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  31. ^ "Profile: Bill Gates". BBC News. January 26, 2004. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2007.
  32. ^ Bose, Áine Cain, Debanjali. "Inside the life of Bill Gates' daughter Jennifer, an elite equestrian who stands to inherit 'a minuscule portion' of her father's $110 billion fortune and is engaged to accomplished Egyptian equestrian Nayel Nassar". Business Insider. Archived from the original on April 23, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  33. ^ "Peek inside Bill Gates' $124 million mansion Xanadu 2.0 - Take a look at Bill Gates' new house". The Economic Times. December 16, 2016. Archived from the original on October 7, 2020. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  34. ^ Vasishta, Jeff (April 24, 2020). "Bill and Melinda Gates Pick Up Del Mar Oceanfront Mansion". Variety. Archived from the original on August 13, 2020. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  35. ^ Molnar, Phillip (April 24, 2020). "Report: Bill and Melinda Gates buy a $43-million Del Mar home". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 7, 2020. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  36. ^ Stelloh, Tim (May 3, 2021). "Bill and Melinda Gates are getting divorced, future of foundation in question". NBC News. NBC Universal. Archived from the original on May 3, 2021. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  37. ^ Cartwright, Lachlan; Briquelet, Kate (May 7, 2021). "Melinda Gates Warned Bill About Jeffrey Epstein". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on May 11, 2021. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  38. ^ a b Glazer, Emily; Safdar, Khadeeja (May 9, 2021). "Melinda Gates Was Meeting With Divorce Lawyers Since 2019 to End Marriage With Bill Gates". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on May 11, 2021. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  39. ^ a b Pengelly, Martin; Neate, Rupert (May 10, 2021). "Melinda Gates began divorce moves at time Bill's meetings with Jeffrey Epstein revealed". The Guardian. Archived from the original on May 11, 2021. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  40. ^ Miranda, Gabriela (May 7, 2021). "After a stock transfer from Bill Gates, Melinda Gates is a billionaire". USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. Archived from the original on May 30, 2021. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  41. ^ Yang, Maya (March 3, 2022). "Melinda French Gates says she is 'friendly' but not friends with Bill Gates". The Guardian. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  42. ^ Jefferson Awards website Archived November 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, jeffersonawards.org; accessed April 23, 2016.
  43. ^ "Persons of the Year 2005 - TIME". TIME.com. Retrieved April 21, 2020.[permanent dead link]
  44. ^ "2012 Laureates – Prince of Asturias Awards" Archived June 23, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, fpa.es; retrieved June 2, 2013.
  45. ^ "Talk about us: Melinda Gates". Empowering Entrepreneurs Women | Coachability Foundation (in Spanish). Retrieved March 14, 2019.[permanent dead link]
  46. ^ "Seattle Children's History". Seattle Children's Hospital. Archived from the original on July 15, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  47. ^ How Our Name Evolved, Seattlechildrens.org; retrieved June 29, 2013.
  48. ^ Seattle Children's Hospital Unveils $300 Million Capital Campaign – $200 Million Already Raised Archived June 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, seattlechildrens.org; retrieved June 29, 2013.
  49. ^ "Melinda Gates honorary doctor at Karolinska Institutet | Karolinska Institutet Nyheter". news.ki.se. Archived from the original on August 3, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  50. ^ "Gates Cambridge Trust". New York University. Archived from the original on December 1, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  51. ^ "Gates Cambridge Trust announces new Provost". University of Cambridge. University of Cambridge. May 13, 2013. Archived from the original on December 1, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  52. ^ "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women 2013". Forbes. Archived from the original on April 22, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  53. ^ "UCSF Medal". Office of the Chancellor. Archived from the original on July 4, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  54. ^ "Angela Ahrendts and Melinda Gates made (honorary) Dames of the British Empire". theguardian.com. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  55. ^ PTI (January 25, 2015). "Advani, Bachchan, Dilip Kumar get Padma Vibhushan". The Hindu. Archived from the original on January 20, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  56. ^ "President Obama Names Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom". whitehouse.gov. November 16, 2016. Archived from the original on January 18, 2017. Retrieved November 16, 2016 – via National Archives.
  57. ^ "Bill et Melinda Gates: une médaille pour le cœur". Paris Match (in French). Archived from the original on June 29, 2021. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  58. ^ "Otto-Hahn-Friedensmedaille an Melinda Gates". Deutsche Gesellschaft für die Vereinten Nationen, Berlin-Brandenburg (in German). United Nations Association of Germany, LV Berlin-Brandenburg (DGVN). May 26, 2017. Archived from the original on October 1, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  59. ^ "Melinda Gates mit Friedensmedaille geehrt". Focus (in German). Helmut Markwort. Deutsche Presse-Agentur. May 25, 2017. Archived from the original on September 30, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  60. ^ "Philanthropists & Social Entrepreneurs Top 200: From Elon Musk to Melinda Gates, These Are the Most Influential Do-Gooders in the World". Richtopia. Archived from the original on March 30, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  61. ^ "Top 200 Global Philanthropists, Social Entrepreneurs". ThisDayLive. Archived from the original on April 1, 2017. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  62. ^ "Melinda Gates reveals 'aggressive,' male-dominated life at Microsoft as she calls on all of us to redesign the workplace". www.campaignlive.co.uk. Archived from the original on March 12, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  63. ^ "Melinda Gates Wants More Women in Tech Jobs". Money. Archived from the original on September 12, 2021. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  64. ^ "Melinda Gates on women in tech, her first love, and the origins of Comic Sans". GeekWire. October 4, 2017. Archived from the original on March 30, 2018. Retrieved March 29, 2018.

External links[edit]