Melinda Anne Gates is famous for being married to Bill Gates and working for tech giants, Microsoft. She is also known for being an American philanthropist that dedicates her life to helping others across the world with her charity organization and company. Over the years Melinda Gates has continued to be in the spotlight for her work and commitment to good causes.
Here are 10 of the most fascinating facts about Melinda Gates.
Melinda Gates Facts
1. She was inspired by her father’s career and even future rivals Apple.
Melinda Gates always had a love for technology. Her father was an Apollo-program engineer and this played a part in her love for everything to do with technology. Often, she would want rocket launches. In addition, her parents used to have an Apple computer. This was something that fascinated her and grew her interest in electronics and technology. In addition, her interest in computers grew when she was enrolled in an advanced math class in seventh-grade.
2. She was always top of the class throughout her educational years.
Since she was a young girl, Melinda Gates has performed well at school in university. She attended St. Monica Catholic School and she was so intelligent, she was the top student in her class. An interesting fact about Melinda Gates is that she graduated as valedictorian in 1982. This was at Ursuline Academy of Dallas. With her excellent academic results, she studied computer science and economics at Duke University. Her education did not stop there. She also achieved an MBA from Fuqua School of Business in 1987.
3. Melinda Gates was going to work for IBM and not Microsoft.
Melinda was not always destined to work for Microsoft. An interesting fact about Melinda Gates is that she was very close to accepting a job at IBM. This was a company that she had worked for previously during summer. This meant that she was planning on accepting a job offer due to being comfortable there. However, she had another interview lined up and this was for Microsoft. This was a young company at the time. She spoke about this opportunity with a recruiter. They encouraged her to listen to them, as they offered good advancement opportunities. Melinda went on to accept a marketing manager job offer with Microsoft.
4. She worked on several famous information products we use today.
During her time at Microsoft, she worked hard and eventually became general manager of informational products. This meant that she worked on a lot of huge ideas that came to fruition. In particular, there are information products available today online that Melinda was a part of. This includes the website called Expedia, which is used to budgeting vacations and trips. Another previous project included creating Encarta. This was a digital multimedia encyclopedia. The interactive movie guide called Cinemania was another project that Melinda Gates worked on. Other well-known products include Word, Microsoft Bob and Publisher.
5. Melinda Gates met her husband Bill Gates at a Microsoft press event.
Melinda had been working for Microsoft for several months. She attended a press event taking place in Manhattan in 1987. Sitting next to her was her future husband, Bill Gates. After talking and laughing at the event, they eventually arrange a first date. This required around three weeks’ notice due to her boss’s busy schedule. They went to marriage seven years later in 1994.
6. Melinda Gates and her husband created the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In 2000, Melinda and her husband founded the largest private charity in the world. This was called Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This has helped with healthcare and education in around 130 different countries across the worl, an interesting fact about Melinda Gates. She was first inspired to create the charity after visiting Africa in 1993. It is believed that the charity is worth over $50 billion and they have helped many other organizations to make a difference in so many lives.
7. She started her own company called Pivotal Ventures.
Pivotal Ventures was created by Melinda Gates and this is an investment and incubation company. It is based in Seattle and she pursues projects that are of interest to her. In particular, she has been committed to promoting gender equality and helping women in the male-dominated technology industry. For example, the company has recently pledged $50 million towards the Gender Quality in Tech Cities Initiative. This aims to improve the underrepresentation of women in the technology industry.
8. The Couple were rewarded with the highest civilian honor in the United States.
In 2016, Melinda and Bill gates received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an interesting fact about Melinda Gates. This is known as the highest civilian honor in the US. It was given to them by President Barack Obama, recognizing their amazing contributions through their Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This was something that meant a lot to the couple and it was recognition of the philanthropist work that they have dedicated their life to after Microsoft.
9. She became an author and released her first book in 2019.
Melinda Gates has many successes over the years with Microsoft and her investments in good causes. But she did not stop there. In 2019, she created and published her first book. It is called ‘The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World’. This dives into her career as a philanthropist and talks about inequality and situations she has been through. She also shares inspiring stories from people that she has met over the years.
10. She is one of the most powerful women in the world.
Due to her exceptional charity work over the years and the way she has given back to the world, Melinda Gates has consistently ranked as one of the most powerful women in the world. This is according to Forbes and their annual list. Back in 2018, she was number six on the list of 100 women. She has appeared on the list every year since 2011 and been as high as number three. Perhaps this will continue with persistent charity work and helping out good causes in the future.
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