Melinda Gates no longer pledging most of wealth to Gates Foundation: report

Melinda French Gates is no longer pledging to donate most of her wealth to the charitable foundation she co-founded with her former husband and will instead disburse the funds among other philanthropies, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The 57-year-old Texas-raised computer scientist made the change in late 2021 in her first individual pledge letter, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The move follows her divorce last year from Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates.

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The couple had pledged in 2010 to give the bulk of their fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which was founded in 2000 and spent $55 billion in its first two decades, with a focus on combating poverty, inequity and disease.

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The foundation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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“I recognize the absurdity of so much wealth being concentrated in the hands of one person, and I believe the only responsible thing to do with a fortune this size is give it away – as thoughtfully and impactfully as possible,” French Gates wrote in her pledge letter, the Wall Street Journal said.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; Editing by Will Dunham)