What is Bill and Melinda Gates' net worth? Da Vinci's Codex, jets and $125M eco-home Xanadu 2.0 will be split

With 242,000 acres spread across 18 states, Bill Gates is also the largest private owner of farmland in the United States


                            What is Bill and Melinda Gates' net worth? Da Vinci's Codex, jets and $125M eco-home Xanadu 2.0 will be split
Bill and Melinda Gates (inset) own Leonardo Da Vinci's Codex Leicester and five homes including Xanadu 2.0 in Seattle (top right) and a mansion in California (Getty Images)

After 27 years of marriage, billionaire benefactors Bill and Melinda Gates, co-founders of one of the world's largest private charitable foundations, filed for divorce on Monday, April 3, claiming they had reached an agreement on how to split their properties. The couple's divorce will be the largest division of assets since Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie Scott split in mid-2019.

"The marriage is irretrievably broken," the pair wrote in a joint petition for dissolution of marriage filed in King County Superior Court in Seattle. Bill, 65, who co-founded Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), and Melinda, 65, will however continue to work together as co-chairs and trustees, according to the foundation. If you're wondering how much this now-disintegrating power couple is worth, here's what you need to know.

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What is Bill Gates' net worth?

According to Forbes, American business magnate, founder and former chairman and CEO of Microsoft, philanthropist and author Bill Gates has a net worth of $124B, with a  real-time net worth of $130.5B. Celebrity Net Worth puts him at $146B, adding that he has a salary of $1M.

Bill has been the wealthiest man on the planet for most of the last two decades. Currently, he is the world's fourth richest person after Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and LVMH's Bernald Arnault and family, the Town and Country Magazine reported.



 

Owns less than 1.3 per cent of Microsoft

Bill and Paul Allen co-founded the software company Microsoft. Bill is considered one of the first entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. Today, he owns less than 1.3 per cent of the business, having sold tens of billions of dollars worth of Microsoft stock over the years.

After Microsoft's IPO in 1986, Bill sold at least $40B in stock and earned over $12B in dividends. He put the money into Cascade Investment, a holding company that has grown to include investments in companies such as Canadian National Railway and AutoNation. In mid-March 2020, Gates stepped down as a board member of Microsoft. To date, he has donated $35.8B worth of Microsoft stock to the Gates Foundation, which works to improve global health, and to create equal opportunity for people around the globe.



 

What is Melinda Gates' net worth?

Celebrity Net Worth pins Melinda's net worth at $70B. The American businesswoman and philanthropist maintains her position as thw most powerful woman in philanthropy as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Melinda and her husband founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington, in 2000. It is one of the world's largest private foundations with $46.8B in assets. In 2018, it was reported that the couple had donated around $36B to the foundation. 



 

Oceanfront home, ranches and farmland

The Gates family owns a number of impressive properties across the United States. He most certainly owns properties in other countries as well, but little is known about these transactions. The family owns a 228-acre ranch at Rancho Santa Fe and a $43M oceanfront mansion at Del Mar in San Diego. It has 120 feet of private ocean frontage, the Daily Mail reported.

They also own two more ranches in Wellington, Florida, and Cody, Wyoming, according to Celebrity Net WorthWellington has been described by The Real Deal as the winter equestrian capital of the world and has long served as a playground for billionaires such as Michael Bloomberg, the late Steve Jobs, the Campbell's Soup family and other celebrity equestrians. The one in Wyoming was originally settled by Buffalo Bill in 1902.

Bill and Melinda Gates' daughter Jennifer Gates is seen competing at The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington in 2009 (Getty Images)

Aside from his five homes, Bill has quietly amassed a sizable agricultural portfolio. With 242,000 acres spread across 18 states, he is now the largest private owner of farmland in the United States. At least 69,071 acres in Louisiana, 47,927 acres in Arkansas, 25,750 acres in Arizona, 20,588 acres in Nebraska, and 16,097 acres in Washington state are among the 65-year-old's largest holdings, the Daily Mail said.

Bill also owns interests in several prominent hotels. He owns a part of the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts and about half of all Four Seasons hotels around the world. He owns the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco along with a group of investors.

The Ritz Carlton in San Fransisco (Courtesy: ritzcarlton.com)

Xanadu 2.0

Bill and Melinda, who married in 1994, have a $125M lakefront mansion near Seattle as their main home. The Gates family lives in Medina, Washington, in an earth-sheltered mansion on the edge of a hill overlooking Lake Washington. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and Cutler-Anderson Architects of Bainbridge Island, Washington, collaborated on the 66,000-sq-ft house, dubbed Xanadu 2.0.

The Gates estate consists of five homes in five states, a fleet of vehicles, including a rare $2M Porsche, an art collection, including the $30M Da Vinci Codex that Gates purchased at an auction, and a number of private jets, the Daily Mail reported.

The house is named after the fictional home of Charles Foster Kane, the title character of 'Citizen Kane', and took Gates seven years to build. The main house alone is 66,000-sq-ft and sits on the side of a hill overlooking Lake Washington. The estate includes a 60-foot swimming pool with an underwater music system, a 2,500-sq-ft gym, and a 1,000-sq-ft dining space, as well as six kitchens and a 200-person dining hall, according to Money.

Bill Gates' home lines the banks of Lake Washington, May 30, 2001, in Seattle, Washington (Getty Images)

According to The Washington Post, the building along the picturesque lake enraged some residents, so Gates replied with free car washes and made his construction team available to assist with small projects at nearby homes.

What the house means to Gates is a line from the ending of F Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby', which the business magnate ordered inscribed around the base of the dome-shaped roof in his library. It reads: "He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close he could hardly fail to grasp it." The sprawling oasis boasts of a private library, complete with an oculus and priceless works, including pieces by Leonardo Da Vinci.

"I wanted craftsmanship but nothing ostentatious," Gates said in his book 'The Road Ahead', which he wrote from the guest house, during the time the main house was being constructed. "I wanted a house that would accommodate sophisticated, changing technology but in an unobtrusive way that made it clear that technology was the servant, not the master."

Xanadu 2.0 (Getty Images)

Rare Porsche, Jaguar, Ferrari and jets

Gates' Seattle home garage has space for 30 vehicles. In February 2018, he told Ellen DeGeneres that his biggest purchase after founding Microsoft was a Porsche 911 supercar, which he later sold. "That was an indulgence," he told the talk show host. Gates also owns a Porsche 930 Turbo, a Jaguar XJ6 and a Ferrari 348. His most expensive car is thought to be an incredibly rare Porsche 959, of which only a few hundred were made. He had to wait 13 years for the car as customs in the United States held up its arrival. It also necessitated the passing of a special law, the Show or Display Rule, in order for it to be used in the country.

Gates also owns a number of private jets. "'It does help me do my foundation work but again it is a very privileged thing to have," he said in the Daily Mail report. He is believed to own two $65M Gulfstream G650ERs, two Bombardier Challenger 350s, a Cessna Seaplane and a collection of helicopters. 

A Porsche Taycan Turbo S, the kind owned by Bill Gates (Getty Images)

Leonardo da Vinci's Codex and other art

Gates is also known for his art collection, which includes Leonardo da Vinci's Codex, which he purchased at Christie's in New York for $30M in 1994. Seated in his Seattle library, the Codex is shown prominently. Since it was once owned by the Earl of Leicester, it is known as the Leicester Codex.

The 36 leather-bound sheet notebook contains a mixture of Da Vinci's observations and theories on the properties of water, rocks, fossils, air, and celestial light.

The Leonardo Da Vinci Codex, also called the Codex Leicester (Wikimedia Commons)

His art collection also includes a Winslow Homer oil painting titled 'Lost On The Grand Banks', which he paid $36M for in 1998. He also owns a George Bellows painting named 'Polo Crowd', which he purchased for $28M in 1999.

Gates paid $20M for Childe Hassam's 'Room of Flowers', which hangs inside the library. He also owns 'The Nursery', which was painted by William Merritt Chase.

Childe Hassam's 'Room of Flowers' (Wikimedia Commons)

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