biographical data

Melinda Gates biography: 13 things about Bill Gates’ ex-wife born in Dallas, Texas

Melinda Ann French Gates is Raymond Joseph French Jr. and Elaine Agnes Amerland‘s daughter. Raymond is an aerospace engineer and house rentals agent while Amerland is a homemaker.

Born in Dallas, Texas, United States, Melinda has one older sister and two younger brothers. Here are 13 more things about Melinda:


  1. In 1978, her father brought home an Apple II, which helped her learn the Beginners’ All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC) programming language. Their family’s second computer is an Apple III. (a) (b)
  2. In 1982, she graduated as valedictorian of her class at Ursuline Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school in Dallas. (b) (c)
  3. In 1986, she graduated from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, USA with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Right after her graduation, she worked as an intern for IBM. (a) (b)
  4. In 1987, she earned her master’s degree in business administration from Duke University and arrived in Seattle, Washington, USA where she worked as a marketing manager for a predecessor of Word. In the same year, she met Microsoft chief executive officer William “Bill” H. Gates III when they sat next to each other at an Expo trade-fair dinner in New York, USA. (a) (b)
  5. From 1987 to 1996, she worked as Microsoft’s general manager of information products in Seattle. (d)
  6. In 1993, she and Bill were engaged. (a)
  7. On January 1, 1994, she and Bill got marred in Hawaii, USA. They went on to have three children. (a) (e)
  8. In 1996, she gave birth to Jennifer Gates. She gave birth to Rory Gates in 1999 and to Phoebe Gates in 2002. (e)
  9. From 1996 to 2003, she was a member of Duke University’s board of trustees. (d)
  10. In 2000, she became a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair. (d)
  11. In 2015, she founded Pivotal Ventures. (d)
  12. In 2019, she made her debut as an author by releasing the book titled “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World.” (f)
  13. She was 54 years old when she and Bill announced their divorce on May 3, 2021. (e)



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