DEFINITION of 'Bill And Melinda Gates'

Two out of the three co-chairs of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. William (Bill) H. Gates III, founder of Microsoft and his wife Melinda French Gates founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with the directive of improving the lives of persons both in the United States, and abroad in 2000. The third co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is Bill Gate's father, William H. Gates Sr.

The foundation is guided by 15 principles that reflect the Gates' beliefs and values, and how their philanthropy can improve life for those around them.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bill And Melinda Gates'

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was formed when two other foundations were merged. The William H. Gates Foundation was merged with the Bill and Melinda's Gates Library Foundation in 2000. The William H. Gates Foundation was directed by William H. Gates Sr.

Over the years, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has helped numerous causes and charities, which generally focus on health and educational issues. In 2006, the foundation's assets increased dramatically when famous investor and friend Warren Buffett pledged billions of dollars to the foundation.

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