Bill Melinda Gates

In 2005, Bill & Melinda Gates were named TIME magazine’s Persons of the Year. While it is often said that behind every great man is a great woman, Bill & Melinda Gates appear to act more by way of a genuine partnership. They may have more power and wealth than most people the world over, but Bill & Melinda Gates are now working together to address that global inequality.

One hails from Seattle, while the other comes from Dallas, but it would be a chance encounter in Manhattan that would bring the couple together. In 1987, Microsoft was holding a press event in New York and both were in attendance. “There’s some magic there that’s hard to describe,” said he said. “Amazingly, she made me feel like getting married. Now that is unusual! It’s against all my past rational thinking on the topic.”

Before the couple got married, the Microsoft co-founder was considered one of the world’s most eligible bachelors. Many women the world over would have given anything to be in Melinda’s shoes. This, however, is something that her husband does not understand. “What?” he asks. “They want to do puzzle contests with me? They want to go golfing with me? How do they know it’s interesting to be around me?”

It was on a Sunday in 1993 when Bill & Melinda Gates’ relationship was taken to the next level. After secretly diverting the chartered plane that Bill & Melinda Gates were taking back home from Palm Springs, Bill Gates arranged for the couple to be met by Warren Buffett. The billionaire investor had arranged for a jewelry store to be open and proceeded there to help Bill & Melinda Gates pick out an engagement ring.

The two were married on New Year’s Day in 1994 on the Hawaiian island of Lanai. With no stoplights and 47 miles of coastline, Lanai was chosen as the ultimate romantic wedding spot. In order to ensure privacy, they rented out all 250 rooms of the hotel, which added to the $1 million price tag for the entire event. The ceremony was a short 15-minute affair that took place on the 12th tee of the Manele Bay Hotel golf course.

At the time the Microsoft duo got married, he was 38 years old and she was just 29. He wore black slacks with a white dinner jacket, while she wore a $10,000 white wedding gown by Seattle-based designer Victoria Glenn. Over 130 people attended the affair, including many of the world’s most rich and famous. Seattle University Chancellor William J. Sullivan presided over the ceremony, while Steve Ballmer was the groom’s best man. The couple also hired Willie Nelson to sing at their reception.

For their honeymoon, Bill & Melinda Gates vacationed at the Wakaya Club in Fiji. Today, they are the proud parents of three children together: Jennifer Katharine Gates (1996), Rory John Gates (1999), and Phoebe Adele Gates (2002).

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