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An article published in 1997 revealed that Bill and Melinda Gates had an agreement where he could spend one long weekend with his ex-girlfriend at her beach house in North Carolina

  • A 1997 Time Magazine profile of Bill Gates delved into his love life and family life with Melinda Gates.
  • Bill Gates reportedly had an agreement with Melinda where he would spend a long weekend with his ex every year.
  • “We can play putt-putt while discussing biotechnology,” Gates told Time.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A 1997 Time Magazine profile of Bill Gates shared that he and Melinda Gates had an agreement where Bill could spend a long weekend every year with his ex-girlfriend Ann Winblad at her North Carolina beach cottage.

On Monday, Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage.

Walter Isaacson’s profile, titled “In Search of the Real Bill Gates,” charted the software magnate’s rise and delved into his personal life, including his love life and he and Melinda’s family life.

According to the article, before Bill and Melinda’s 1994 marriage, Bill dated software entrepreneur and venture capitalist Ann Winblad during the 1980s.

Bill Gates and Winblad broke up in 1987 but remained close. Eventually, before Bill and Melinda Gates got married, Bill Gates told Isaacson he called Winblad to ask for her approval.

“I said she’d be a good match for him because she had intellectual stamina,” Winblad told Isaacson.

And by 1997, three years into Bill and Melinda’s marriage, the couple had an arrangement that Bill could spend a long weekend with Winblad every year at her beach cottage in North Carolina.

“We can play putt-putt while discussing biotechnology,” Gates told Isaacson.

“We share our thoughts about the world and ourselves,” Winblad said.

It’s unclear how long this apparent agreement lasted — or if it went beyond the 1997 publishing of the article. Business Insider contacted the Gates Foundation for comment and will update as needed.

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