Melinda's Top Matches
About Melinda Ann Gates (French)
Melinda French Gates (born Melinda Ann French on August 15, 1964) is an American philanthropist. 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. In 1994, she married Bill Gates, founder, chairman, and former chief software architect of Microsoft. They have three children: Jennifer Katharine Gates (born 26 April, 1996), Rory John Gates (b. 23 May, 1999) and Phoebe Adele Gates (b. 14 September, 2002).
* 1 Biography
o 1.1 Early life
o 1.2 Today
* 2 Awards and recognition
* 3 References
* 4 External links
 Early life
Melinda Gates was born and raised in Dallas, Texas to Raymond Joseph French, Jr., an engineer, and Elaine Agnes Amerland, a stay-at-home mother. Melinda attended St. Monica Catholic School and was a standout in her class. She was valedictorian of her class at Ursuline Academy of Dallas in 1982. She earned a bachelor degree in computer science and economics from Duke University in 1986 and an MBA from Duke's Fuqua School of Business in 1987, and served as a member of Duke University's board of trustees from 1996 to 2003. She met Bill Gates in 1987 at a Microsoft press event in Manhattan. She is an alumna of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She married Gates on January 1, 1994 in a private ceremony in Lanai, Hawaii.
Today, Gates also attends Bilderberg Group conferences and holds a seat on the board of directors of the Washington Post company. She retired from the board of Drugstore.com in August 2006 to spend more time working for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates' have donated more than US$24 billion to the Foundation. She is a practicing Roman Catholic. 
 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 couple received the Spanish Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation on May 4 2006 in recognition of their world impact through charitable giving.
She was ranked #40 in Forbes magazine list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in 2008, #24 in 2007, and #12 in 2006.
In November 2006, she and her husband were awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle for their philanthropic work around the world in the areas of health and education, particularly in Mexico, and specifically in the program "Un país de lectores".
On 12th of June 2009 Melinda and Bill  Gates received honorary degrees from the University of Cambridge . Their benefaction of $210 million in 2000 set up the Gates Cambridge Trust, which funds postgraduate scholars from outside the UK to study at the University.