Bill Gates was so serious about marriage, he once listed the pros and cons on a whiteboard.
The billionaire Microsoft co-founder and Melinda Gates — who announced they were divorcing on Monday after 27 years — discussed the incident in the 2019 Netflix series “Inside Bill’s Brain.”
Melinda, 56, laughed when she recalled walking in on Bill making the list, noting “He had to make a decision,” about whether to tie the knot.
“I took the idea of marriage very seriously,” Bill explained in the documentary.
The two met in 1987, at a dinner in New York City, not long after Melinda had joined Microsoft as a product manager, according to CNBC.
After about a year of dating, the two were at a crossroads.
“You know, we cared a lot for each other and there were only two possibilities: either, we were going to break up or we were going to get married,” Bill, 65, said in the series.
He “wanted to be married, but he didn’t know whether he could actually commit to it and [run] Microsoft,” Melinda added.
The pair eventually married in Hawaii in 1994. Two years later, Melinda left the tech company to focus on starting a family. She and Bill now have three children: Jennifer, 25, Rory, 21, and Phoebe, 19.
The couple launched the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, and built it into possibly the largest and most influential private philanthropic organization in the world.
In the Netflix show, Bill said that he and Melinda were “truly equal partners.”
“She’s a lot like me in that she is optimistic and she is interested in science. She is better with people than I am,” he said.
The two will remain in their roles as co-chairs and trustees of the foundation, which said in a statement “no changes to their roles or the organization are planned.”
The Gateses, long recognized for their deep pockets, philanthropy and pledges to give away 95 percent of their fortune, are known for their work tackling social-justice and humanitarian issues and were never ones to publicly live extravagant lifestyles.
A divorce filing obtained by TMZ shows that Melinda asked for the divorce, citing that the marriage was “irretrievably broken.”
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