The wealth of Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates is difficult to overstate.

The recent news of the couple’s divorce spawned natural questions about their money including how it will be split up and just how much do they have.

Bill Gates didn’t come from great wealth; just about everyone knows he hit it big with Microsoft. And since then? He and Melinda now have a net worth of more than $120 billion.

As a New York Times story put it: 

“Mr. Gates built one of the great fortunes in human history when he founded Microsoft in 1975 with Paul Allen.”

Among the various wealth highlights challenging the divorce attorneys are mansions, billions in stock shares, a good chunk of the country in acreage and a notebook owned by Leonardo da Vinci.

It’s not surprising how one lawyer with this kind of experience — working with wealthy clients involved in divorces — characterized the load.

“The amount of money and the diversity of assets that are involved in this divorce boggles the imagination,” David Aronson said. “There have rarely been cases that are even close to this in size.”

In fact, the Times story cites only the 2019 Jeff Bezos-MacKenzie Scott divorce as having been bigger. 

The Gates fortune includes: 

  • A clean energy investment fund
  • A nuclear energy start-up.
  • A major stake in the Four Seasons hotel chain
  • More acres of U.S. land than anyone, according to The Land Report, including Buffalo Bill’s historic Wyoming ranch. 

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with its role in worldwide public health and a $50 billion endowment will remain intact, with the couple retaining their positions as co-chairs. 

An itemized list for all to see is likely not coming, however. With a separation agreement in place, the details probably will remain private.

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