Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have publically announced that they are divorcing after 27 years of marriage. "After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," read the joint statement. "We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives."
Certainly, the news of their parents' divorce will have quite a huge effect on Bill and Melinda's children. After the pair mentioned their family, we’re curious about how many children they have, who the kids are, and what it was like growing up in a household with such wealthy parents. Here’s what we know about the Gates children.
Bill and Melinda Gates have three children.
Bill and Melinda Gates share three children: Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe. Jennifer is the oldest daughter, born on April 26, 1996. Jennifer attended her father's alma mater, Lakeside High School, a top-rated private school in Seattle, Wash. After graduating, she enrolled in Stanford University and graduated in 2018 with a degree in human biology. Before medical school, she took time off to focus on her passion as an equestrian.
Jennifer currently attends The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and in 2020, got engaged to longtime boyfriend Navel Nassar.
Little is known about Bill and Melinda's middle child, Rory. Unlike Jennifer, he doesn’t share his life on social media. He was born on May 23, 1999, and also attended Seattle’s Lakeside School. The Chicago Tribune reported that Bill Gates may have bought a house in Chicago near the University of Chicago, which Rory supposedly attended.
What we do know about the 21-year-old is that he’s passionate about gender equality, like his mother. On Rory's 18th birthday, Melinda penned an essay for Time Magazine about his perspective on feminism. She wrote, "Rory is compassionate and curious. He’s intelligent and well-read and deeply informed about the wide range of issues that interest him. He’s a great son and a great brother. But one of the things that makes me proudest is that Rory is a feminist.”
The youngest in the family is Phoebe, who was born on Sept. 14, 2002. Not that much is known about her, either. She was an aspiring ballerina who studied at the School of American Ballet at the Lincoln Center For The Performing Arts and The Juilliard School in New York City. Phoebe was also a student at the Professional Children’s School in New York, and it appears from her private Instagram account that she's following in big sister Jennifer's footsteps and plans on attending Stanford University.
Bill and Melinda Gates had a modest parenting style when it came to their children.
It's easy to assume that Bill and Melinda spoiled their three children when they were growing up, but the opposite is actually true. They both made a point to raise their kids modestly, and their parenting methods were pretty similar to the average family. Melinda told Business Insider that in their household, the family did dishes and shared the chores of housework.
She said, "There are still things we do in our home that I wanted to make sure we did as parents and that our kids participated in so they would know what it was to grow up and have responsibilities. One example is we always do the dishes together after dinner as a family." The kids also weren't allowed to use their phones at the kitchen table, and no one got a cell phone until the age of 14.
Plus, as children, the kids attended church with Bill and Melinda every Sunday. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Bill shared, “We’ve raised our kids in a religious way; they’ve gone to the Catholic church that Melinda goes to and I participate in.”
Our thoughts are with Bill and Melinda and their three children as they navigate through this difficult time.