Bill Gates is arguably best-known for two things: being one of the wealthiest people alive (he’s the second richest man in America next to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, per Forbes) and co-founding Microsoft. Gates is perhaps literally the reason why we’re enjoying the internet age and why we all use and own computers in our everyday lives (chances are you’re reading this very article on one now!). The Harvard University dropout (he left after two years to found his company, per Business Insider) changed the technology game when he co-founded the company with childhood friend Paul Allen in 1975 in Albuquerque, N.M. It’s a story we know well. But currently, the internet is buzzing about Gates for a different reason.
On May 3, Gates announced he and his wife of 27 years, Melinda Gates, are getting divorced. He did so on his Twitter account. “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” Gates tweeted alongside an image of the text. “[We] will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
Although it’s not clear what’s in store for the Gates estate (or if Bill will drop a rung or two on the ladder of wealthiest Americans), we do know what his net worth is today.
Bill Gates is worth billions amid his divorce news
Bill Gates knew he had something special when he co-founded Microsoft, and his instincts paid off. He has an estimated net worth of $129 billion today, according to Business Insider. Forbes put the figure closer at $111 billion. Either way, it’s a lot. No wonder the tech giant didn’t know the price of a banana.
Real estate-wise, Gates enjoys his riches to a realistic degree (depending on your point of view). According to Celebrity Net Worth, he purchased a Washington lakefront property coined “Zanadu 2.0” in “1988 for $2 million.” As Business Insider reported, he has spent years and barrels of cash on the property. It was last evaluated at $127 million, per the outlet, and includes “7 bedrooms and 18.75 bathrooms” (what’s a .75 bathroom? We’re not sure). Although Gates enjoys a lavish lifestyle, he donates most of his billions through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2010, the BBC reported that the Gates family intended to eventually give away 95% of their wealth. To date, according to USA Today, he has given roughly $50 billion “to charitable causes.”
When asked during a Reddit Q&A session about whether his oodles of money made him any happier, Gates answered yes. He said, “I don’t have to think about health costs or college costs. Being free from worry about financial things is a real blessing.” However, Gates clarified, “Of course, you don’t need a billion to get to that point.”
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