Lounging by pools, buying the finest clothes, scrunching at expensive restaurants, and drinking enough mimosas to fill your in-ground swimming pool, overlooking the Hollywood Hills that’s what a lot of people think the life of a billionaire wife is, at least.
In my group of colleagues, I’ve seen a rather different side of things, I’ve seen fundraisers raising billions of dollars, life-changing day jobs, International volunteer trips, and hours and hours spent developing and running companies.
Today we’re going to take a look at some of the wives of famous billionaires and see exactly how they’re making a living and a difference in their own right.
Bill Gates found himself all over the news recently after stepping down from the board of Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway.
However, his wife Melinda Gates isn’t in the news too often and that’s surprising.
Giving all the things she does Melinda Gates grew up in Dallas Texas where she developed a love of computer programming at a young age.
She carried that love with her through her adolescence and went on to get a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics from Duke University.
She took things a step further and got a master’s degree in 1987.
Immediately after earning her degree Melinda went on to work in Microsoft as a marketing manager.
In that role, she was the lead of development for multiple Microsoft programs including publisher and the word.
She also helped develop Expedia which was a division of Microsoft at the time.
And has now grown into an eleven point two-billion-dollar company.
She gradually transitioned into the role of general manager of information products, where she remained until 1996.
In 1996, she and Bill Gates got married in Hawaii, which is a bit of a billionaire flex, if you ask me?
After they married and she fell pregnant, Melinda stepped down from her role of Microsoft to raise the kids.
She was relatively quiet until 2000, then she came back with a bang.
In the year 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was founded.
Melinda has taken an incredibly active role in the organization, which has donated record-breaking amounts to philanthropic causes all over the world.
Amounting to over 36 billion dollars.
When you consider the fact that the average person makes about a million dollars in their lifetime, it really becomes clear how much money that is to donate to worthwhile causes.
They’ve donated $1.5 billion to the World Health Organization and have put a large amount of focus on health care including 286 million to HIV research.
383 million to neglected tropical diseases, 86 million to polio eradication, and $777 million to help fight AIDS and malaria.
In the states of emergency, they’ve also stepped up to donate including $3 million to help aid those in need after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
Along with co-chairing the non-profit, Melinda takes an active role in women’s empowerment specifically in getting more women to take active roles and computer programming and STEM subjects.
Our old friend Zuckerberg is a pretty popular figure in the news hemmed-in Army’s.
Hand with a net worth of $63.8 billion, it’s no wonder why.
However, back in 2003, when people were wearing velour tracksuits and jamming out to everything from little Kim to Clay Aiken, Zuck didn’t have two pennies to rub together.
It was then at Harvard University where Mark Zuckerberg met Priscilla Chan.
Priscilla was a student studying Biology and Spanish which became her third fluent language after Cantonese and English.
Her parents were refugees who fled Vietnam and settled in America working hard to ensure Priscilla could get an education and did her after graduating from Harvard, Priscilla entered medical school at the University of California, San Francisco.
She went on to do her paediatric residence at San Francisco General Hospital and since then she’s worked as a paediatric stand raised and marks children.
On top of raising her children and working as a doctor, Priscilla urged mark to begin the Chan Zuckerberg initiative.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has donated 4.6 billion dollars to charities, including 120 million to San Francisco Bay Area schools.
The initiative primarily focuses on education, health care, and science which has widely been attributed to Priscilla’s upbringing.
In 2016, Priscilla went on to launch the primary school, a non-profit organization that provides education for children aged K to 12, as well as prenatal care.
The school provides screening for behavioural issues and claims to address each child’s specific needs from the earliest age possible.
All around, Priscilla has spent the majority of her life helping children and now she juggles raising their children as well as running their LLC and the primary school.
Not a lot of lounging around the pool in her case.
Larry Page might not be a name you recognize but he helped found a company you surely do.
A fairly well-known start-up called Google.
Naturally, he made quite a bit of fortune off that little business venture, leaving him with a current net worth of $58.6 billion.
His wife Lucinda Southwort has made quite a fortune and a name for herself in her own right.
She attended the University of Oxford where she received a Master’s of Science degree, focusing on the data analysis and study of eukaryotic organisms.
From there she went on to get her Ph.D. from Stanford.
She currently works full-time as a scientist and researcher, but she also helps run the coral Victor page Memorial Fund, which has donated 15 million dollars to Polar Research.
Though she and Larry run the philanthropic non-profit, she’s also involved in several other non-profits including her mother’s organization.
She frequently travels to Africa to provide medical relief to at-risk communities.
On top of the full-time job as a scientist and work with multiple non-profits, Lucy also raises two of their young children.
You may have noticed we’ve talked about quite a few wives of tech start-up founders and the next woman on our list Susan Dell certainly fits right into that category.
While you might picture Susan as another computer scientist, she’s actually a bit on the other end of the spectrum.
Susan is an elite athlete who takes part in triathlons and marathons.
She also was a member of the President’s Council for physical fitness and sports.
Aside from that, Susan worked to create three separate fashion lines including one luxury line called Phi, which was forced to close during the recession.
Susan now works as the co-founder of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, which has donated more than $650 million to help eradicate urban poverty in Africa, India, and the United States.