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born 1964

Health. Poverty. Education...Women. Children. Families.

Melinda Gates is so much more than just the wife of a rich + famous man. She's the woman behind  ~ and in front ~ leading the charge to change the world. Melinda championed philanthropy from the beginning of her relationship with Microsoft's Bill Gates, taking over management of the family's foundations in 1997. 

From a modest Roman Catholic family in Texas to the leader of one of the world's most powerful foundations, Melinda fights for the basic rights that empower people ~ especially women ~ to reach their potential. 

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Melinda Gates (38)

"My husband and I are really just beginning our journey in philanthropy. And I can't think of any better way to describe it than to say that it is a long walk we hope is in the right direction."

Washington Women's Foundation Annual Meeting | april 2000

"You can't even come close to defining the value of a human life in words like 'effectiveness.'"

Washington Women's Foundation Annual Meeting | april 2000

"It used to be a joke at Microsoft that you become a vice president right after your biggest mistake."

Washington Women's Foundation Annual Meeting | april 2000

"I love technology because I've seen what it can do—and has done—for women."

Washington Women's Foundation Annual Meeting | april 2000

"I am inspired by the walk of another woman."

Washington Women's Foundation Annual Meeting | april 2000

"Vaccines work."

Washington Women's Foundation Annual Meeting | april 2000

"But we also believe in taking risks, because that's how you move things along."

Becoming parents gave world's richest couple a new mission in life | december 2003

"I think it's very important that we instill in our kids that it has nothing to do with their name or their situation that they're growing up in; it has to do with who they are as an individual."

One-On-One With Melinda Gates | november 2004

"Kids are falling through the cracks and nobody notices it. That to me is what's wrong with the school system."

Failing Grade: What Bill and Melinda Gates Want You to Know | april 2006

"Education is the key to opportunity, and the opportunity is not equal."

National Council of La Raza | july 2009

"Good teaching is the most important factor in student learning."

National Council of La Raza | july 2009

"I'm constantly saying to myself, ‘I'm lucky I was born in the United States.'"

Melinda Gates: gods with chequebooks | september 2010

"You can't overstate how much the wives are part of the decision-making."

Melinda Gates: gods with chequebooks | september 2010

"In the developing world, it's about time that women are on the agenda."

New York Times Magazine | october 2010

"We all want to bring every good thing to our children. But what's not universal is our ability to provide every good thing."

TEDxChange | april 2012

"You learn by doing, you learn by trying and making mistakes, and it's the questions you ask."

TEDxChange | april 2012

"Birth control doesn't make sex any less sacred . . . In that choice, we're also honoring the sacredness of the family, and the sacredness of the mother's life and the children's life by saving their lives. And to me, that's incredibly sacred too."

TEDxChange | april 2012

"All lives have an equal value."

How I got Bill Gates to give away his billions | july 2012

"We’re not giving out aid, we’re providing people with the tools they need to improve their lives."

How I got Bill Gates to give away his billions | july 2012

"I care much more about saving the lives of mothers and babies than I do about a fancy museum somewhere."

How I got Bill Gates to give away his billions | july 2012

"I'm wholehearted about whatever I do."

How I got Bill Gates to give away his billions | july 2012

"As a Catholic I believe in this religion, there are amazing things about this religion, amazing moral teachings that I do believe in, but I also have to think about how we keep women alive."

Melinda Gates challenges Vatican by vowing to improve contraception | july 2012

"I believe in not letting women die, I believe in not letting babies die, and to me that's more important than arguing about what method of contraception."

Melinda Gates challenges Vatican by vowing to improve contraception | july 2012

"I'm often asked what motivates me to do the work I do. I never hesitate for a moment. It's the people."

Why I'm Inspired by Mary Lasker and I Hope You Will be Too | september 2013

"Any morning when I get to talk to my daughters as they're getting ready for school is a day I celebrate girls."

Celebrating All Girls on International Day of the Girl | october 2013

"Girls everywhere have the same ambitions for their futures. Girls everywhere want more for themselves than their societies tell them is reasonable to expect. And girls everywhere—when they have a chance to be themselves—make the world around them better."

Celebrating All Girls on International Day of the Girl | october 2013

"Be authentic. And that’s why I look so forward to when we have lots of women of different styles and lots of types of leadership positions."

Women and Girls Count | february 2014

"My mom always told me, 'set your own agenda or someone else will set it for you.' Now I tell my children the same thing."

Bring Every Good Thing to Our Children | march 2014

"Our desire to bring every good thing to our children is a force for good in the world."

Bring Every Good Thing to Our Children | march 2014

"When women have a voice in their society, they use it to speak up not just for themselves, but for their children."

Why you must stand up to your mother-in-law | july 2014

"Let's remember not to take our voices for granted."

Why you must stand up to your mother-in-law | july 2014

"Whether 'bossy' is a good word or a bad word doesn't really matter to me. What matters is saying to girls: 'Be yourself.’"

The savior in Seattle | august 2014

"MYTH: Teachers get the summers off. FACT: Teachers spend the summers preparing for a grueling fall."

@melindagates | august 2014

"If we want students to succeed, we have to give teachers the tools they tell us they need."

@melindagates | august 2014

"It's important to remember that behind every data point is a daughter, a mother, a sister—a person with hopes and dreams."

Melinda Gates Never Forgets the Women Behind the Numbers | september 2014

"There's something about turning 50 where you feel really free to be yourself."

Sunday With…Melinda Gates | october 2014

"Women speaking up for themselves and for those around them is the strongest force we have to change the world."

Melinda Gates shares scalable ways to invest in women | october 2014

"When we invest in women, we invest in the people who invest in everyone else. So when we match their commitment with our own, great things are possible."

Melinda Gates shares scalable ways to invest in women | october 2014
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curated with care by Meghan Miller Brawley {august 2014}