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Bill and Melinda Gates, the presidents and founders of their eponymous research foundation, announced Monday that they are ending their marriage.

The Microsoft co-founder and his wife, the company’s former CEO, have been married for 27 years.

“Over the past 27 years, we have raised three amazing children and built a foundation that works around the world to enable everyone to lead healthy and productive lives,” the two said in a joint statement. “We continue to share a belief in this mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe that we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.

Bill Gates is recognized as one of the richest people in the world and held the title of richest person in the world for several years until he was usurped by Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos .

The Gates share a mansion in Medina, Washington, as their primary residence.

Bill Gates was criticized last month when he spoke out against lifting patent protection on COVID-19 vaccines, which many activists have called for following a deadly coronavirus outbreak in India. Gates said he was concerned that shifting production to new factories outside the United States could pose a manufacturing problem, while critics accused him of trying to protect intellectual property laws which he continues to profit.

This is a developing story. Please come back for updates.


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