The Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist celebrated Grandparent’s Day by sharing a photograph of him reading Jean Reagan’s How to Babysit a Grandpa to his granddaughter Leila, whom his daughter Jennifer Gates held in her arms.
Gates, 67, reflected on what grandfatherhood has taught him in the caption of the Instagram post, saying: “Becoming a grandparent has given me a whole new lens to see the world through. It keeps me motivated to ensure my granddaughter — and all our grandchildren — inherit a better world than they were born into.”
Jennifer – the eldest child of Bill and his wife Melinda French Gates – and her husband, Olympic equestrian Nayel Nassar, welcomed Leila together on March 5 and announced her arrival on Instagram. “Sending love from our healthy little family,” the couple wrote in the caption below a photo that showed them holding their baby girl.
A few weeks later in April, Melinda shared a photo of herself holding the newborn in her arms. “There is nothing quite like holding your first grandchild,” the philanthropist, 59, wrote, adding: “It seems like just yesterday I was holding Jenn at this age.”
Besides Jennifer, Bill and Melinda also share two other children: Rory, 24, and daughter Phoebe, 20. In 2021, the longtime power couple divorced after 27 years of marriage. Together, they announced their plans to divorce through a joint statement on Twitter, now known as X, in May 2021. Their statement began: “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.”
They continued, “Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives.” They referred to the foundation they created in 2000, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
On her divorce, Melinda Gates told Fortune the previous year that the split was “unbelievably painful.” She said that her main concern was “trying to protect my kids through it.” The couple have put their differences aside to support their children as they achieve major milestones including celebrating their daughter Jennifer’s graduation from Columbia University with a master’s degree in public health.
Jennifer commemorated the happy occasion with pictures of herself in a pale pink cap and gown beside her husband and visibly proud parents. She captioned the photo: “(Accelerated) Master of Public Health. Thank you @columbiapublichealth for this incredible educational opportunity and the village around me who made this possible. Grateful.”
The graduate then proceeded to explain what an accelerated master’s degree was in parentheses: “Transparency— accelerated students officially get our degrees conferred in October when practicum deliverables are due, but all coursework is completed and we walk in the ceremony and celebrate now.”
At the time, her husband Nassar reposted the photo on his Instagram Story, writing: “So proud!”