The incredible life of Melinda Gates — one of the world’s richest and most powerful women

Melinda Gates

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Melinda Gates is the fifth most powerful woman in the world, and the second American — after Vice President Kamala Harris — to make the Forbes 2020 most powerful women in the world list.

She and her former husband, Bill, announced their divorce on May 3. Though they don’t have a prenuptial agreement, if they split their $146 billion fortune equally, Melinda would be worth around $73 billion.

Gates has become one of the most prolific philanthropists in the world as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which she helmed virtually on her own for the first six years of operation. She is now co-chair of the foundation with Bill, positions they said they will maintain even after the divorce.

She said in a statement posted to Twitter that she and Bill continue to believe in the mission of the foundation and will continue their work there.

Read more: Agritech startup Enko just raised $45 million in a funding round led by the Gates Foundation

In addition to the foundation’s education and healthcare initiatives, Gates takes a personal interest in women’s issues around the world. At the forefront of her agenda is expanding the availability of contraception and bringing awareness to the concept of time poverty — the notion that hours of daily unpaid work like household chores end up “robbing women of their potential.”

In 2016, Gates was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the US, by President Obama.

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Keep scrolling to learn more about her life and how she became one of the world’s richest and most powerful women.

Additional reporting from Tanza Loudenback.

SEE ALSO: Inside the daily routine of billionaire Bill Gates, who loves cheeseburgers, tours missile silos, and washes the dishes every night

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Melinda Gates (neè French) grew up in Dallas, Texas, with her parents — a stay-at-home mother and an aerospace-engineer father — and her three siblings. The family belonged to the local Roman Catholic parish.

Source: Telegraph

The Frenches were intent on sending all four of their children to college, so Melinda’s father started a side business for rental properties. “We would help him run the business and keep the books,” she said. “We saw money coming in and money going out.”

Source: Fortune

Gates was valedictorian and head of the drill team at her high school, Ursuline Academy of Dallas. In 2007, the Gates Foundation donated $7 million to Ursuline for the construction of The French Family Science, Math, and Technology Center — a 70,000 sq. ft. LEED Gold certified laboratory and classroom building.

Source: Ursuline Dallas, Marie Claire

She went on to earn a double bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics from Duke University and an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in just five years.

Source: Duke Today

But Gates’ dedication to her school work did not deter her from a social life. She was a member …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Life

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