Bill Gates listed the pros and cons of marriage on a whiteboard before eventually proposing to Melinda

Business Insider US
Melinda Gates and Bill Gates speak on stage during The Robin Hood Foundation's 2018 benefit at Jacob Javitz Center on May 14, 2018 in New York City.
  • Bill Gates listed the pros and cons of marriage on a whiteboard before proposing.
  • Melinda Gates walked in on him writing the list, she said in a 2019 Netflix series "Inside Bill's Brain."
  • The couple on Monday announced they were divorcing after 27 years of marriage.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

Bill Gates listed the pros and cons of marriage on a whiteboard before proposing to his wife Melinda Gates.

In "Inside Bill's Brain," a Netflix three-episode series released in 2019, Melinda said she walked into Bill's bedroom and found him writing the list, CNBC first reported.

"Bill wanted to be married, but he didn't know whether he could actually commit to it and [run] Microsoft," Melinda said in the documentary. In the footage, she began laughing at the memory of the whiteboard.

"I took the idea of marriage very seriously," Bill, who was 38 when he got married to Melinda in 1994 in Lanai, Hawaii, said. She was 29 at the time.

After 27 years of marriage, the couple announced on Monday they were divorcing. "After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," they said in a statement on Twitter. "We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives."

In the documentary, Bill said that Melinda "is a truly equal partner."

"She's a lot like me in that she is optimistic and she is interested in science. She is better with people than I am. She's a tiny bit less hard core about knowing, you know, immunology, than I am," he said.

The pair met in 1987, when Melinda joined Microsoft as a product manager. They sat next to each other at a work dinner and started dating shortly after.

Their relationship started off casual. Melinda "had other boyfriends, and I had Microsoft," Bill said.

Melinda said she was "new to Microsoft, there were a lot of men there and ... you are still looking around."

After a year, they both confessed their love for each other, Bill said.

In 2020, Insider reported how the couple had thrived in a successful relationship while building a nearly $2 trillion company. They have raised three children - Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe - and founded the world's largest charity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is focused on ending poverty.

Receive a daily news update on your cellphone. Or get the best of our site emailed to you

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.

Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo