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Bill Gates Opens Up About His Divorce and Why He’ll Likely Drop Off List of World’s Richest People

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 08: Bill Gates attends the 2022 TIME100 Gala on June 08, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 08: Bill Gates attends the 2022 TIME100 Gala on June 08, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME)

Bill Gates.
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

In his annual year-end post on the Gates Notes blog, Bill Gates usually gives a Gates Foundation update, reviews recent technological advances, and addresses climate change. He hits all those topics and more in his 2022 update — including touching on his 2021 divorce from Melinda French Gates and explaining why he’ll drop off the World’s Richest People list.

Gates opened and closed his very long post with a nod to his personal life.

“I turned 67 in October. It’s hard to believe I’m that old — in America, most people my age are retired!” he began his blog post.

The current billionaire then went immediately into explaining why he might not be on the World’s Richest list in the near future. “Although I don’t care where I rank on the list of the world’s richest people,” he wrote, “I do know that as I succeed in giving, I will drop down and eventually off the list altogether.”

Gates then talked about how becoming a grandfather next year is changing his perspective. “But I started looking at the world through a new lens recently — when my older daughter gave me the incredible news that I’ll become a grandfather next year,” Gates shared.

Gates’ eldest child, Jennifer, 26, is currently expecting her first baby with husband Nayel Nassar and announced the news on Thanksgiving.

He continued: “Simply typing that phrase, ‘I’ll become a grandfather next year,’ makes me emotional. And the thought gives a new dimension to my work. When I think about the world my grandchild will be born into, I’m more inspired than ever to help everyone’s children and grandchildren have a chance to survive and thrive.”

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Melinda Gates and Bill Gates attend The Robin Hood Foundation's 2018 benefit at Jacob Javitz Center on May 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Robin Hood)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Melinda Gates and Bill Gates attend The Robin Hood Foundation's 2018 benefit at Jacob Javitz Center on May 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Robin Hood)

Melinda French Gates and Bill Gates.
Kevin Mazur/Getty

After giving significant updates about the Gates Foundation — including cutting the childhood death rate in half, helping the world better prepare for future pandemics, helping truly eradicate polio, and using AI technology to help save mothers and babies in underdeveloped countries — he turned to his personal life.

“With the pandemic, war in Ukraine, and downturn in the economy, the past three years have been some of the hardest in recent memory,” Gates wrote. “Everyone in the world has experienced loss during this time — of loved ones, financial security, or a way of life.”

RELATED VIDEO: Melinda French Gates Opens Up About What Led to Divorce from Bill Gates: ‘I Couldn’t Trust What We Had’

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He then commented on his own life: “Because of my position, I’m insulated from many of these hardships. But I too have hit some personal low points over the past few years, including the death of my father and the end of my marriage.”

Gates thanked his friends and family for supporting him during his rough times. “Being wealthy makes my life much more comfortable, but not more fulfilling. For that, I need family, friends, and a job where I work on things that matter. I’m grateful to have all three,” he said.