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Melinda Gates Biography

Melinda Gates Biography
on Aug 27, 2019
Melinda Gates Biography

About

Melinda Gates, wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which strives to improve global health and education. Melinda Gates was born on August 15, 1964, in Dallas, Texas. She took a job at Microsoft Corporation in 1987 and married her boss, Bill Gates, in 1994. That year, she and her husband co-founded what was later to become the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2006 she restructured the organization. In 2012 she pledged $560 million toward improving access to contraception for women in poor countries.

Early Life

Melinda Gates was born Melinda Ann French on August 15, 1964, in Dallas, Texas. She has three siblings: one older sister and two younger brothers. Melinda's father, Ray French, was an aerospace engineer during her upbringing, while her mother, Elaine French, was a stay-at-home mom. Elaine, who wished she had gone to college, placed a strong emphasis on her children's higher education. To that end, the family spent weekends maintaining their rental properties as a means of earning the children's tuition. Melinda developed an early interest in computers while taking an advanced math class at the Ursuline Academy, a Catholic school for girls. She went on to pursue this interest in college, earning a bachelor's degree in computer science from Duke University in 1986. The following year, she obtained a master's in business administration, with a focus in economics, from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.

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