Melinda Gates

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Melinda Ann French (born August 15, 1964), later known as Melinda French Gates,[1] is an American philanthropist and wife of Bill Gates. She is the co-founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a former unit manager for several Microsoft products such as Publisher, Microsoft Bob, Encarta, and Expedia.


Childhood and career

Melinda French Gates was born in Dallas, Texas to Raymond Joseph French, Jr., an engineer, and Elaine Agnes Amerland, a homemaker. She attended St. Monica Catholic School, where she was the top student in her class year. She graduated as valedictorian from Ursuline Academy of Dallas in 1982. Gates earned a bachelor's degree in computer science and economics from Duke University in 1986 and an MBA from Duke's Fuqua School of Business in 1987, where she was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.

Shortly thereafter, she joined Microsoft and participated in the development of many of Microsoft’s multimedia products including Publisher, Microsoft Bob, Encarta, and Expedia.[2]

Awards and recognition

In December 2005, she and her husband, along with musician Bono, were named by Time as Persons of the Year. The Gates received the Spanish Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation on May 4, 2006 in recognition of their world impact through charitable giving.[3]

She was ranked #40 in Forbes magazine list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in 2008,[4] #24 in 2007,[5] and #12 in 2006.[6]

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