Meet Bill Gates' kids Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe: From a pediatrician to a fashion startup cofounder

  • Bill Gates, the Microsoft cofounder, shares three kids with his ex-wife Melinda French Gates.

  • They include a recent med school graduate and a fashion startup cofounder.

  • He became a grandfather in March when his daughter Jennifer Gates Nassar had her first child.

Bill Gates' story is a quintessential example of the American entrepreneurial dream: A brilliant math whiz, Gates was 19 when he dropped out of Harvard and cofounded Microsoft with his friend Paul Allen in 1975.

Nearly 50 years later, he's one of the richest and most famous men on Earth, with a fortune of about $131 billion, per Forbes. He stepped down from Microsoft's board in 2020 and has cultivated his brand of philanthropy with the Gates Foundation — a venture he formerly ran with his now ex-wife Melinda French Gates, who resigned in May.

Even before founding one of the world's most valuable companies, Gates' life was anything but ordinary. He grew up in a well-off and well-connected family, surrounded by his parents' rarefied personal and professional network. Their circle included a Cabinet secretary and a governor of Washington, according to "Hard Drive," the 1992 biography of Gates by James Wallace and Jim Erickson. (Brock Adams, who went on to become the transportation secretary in the Carter administration, is said to have introduced Gates' parents.)

His father, William Gates Sr., was a prominent corporate lawyer in Seattle and the president of the Washington State Bar Association.

His mother, Mary Gates, came from a line of successful bankers and sat on the boards of important financial and social institutions, including the nonprofit United Way. It was there, according to her New York Times obituary, that she met the former IBM chairman John Opel — a fateful connection thought to have led to IBM enlisting Microsoft to provide an operating system in the 1980s.

"My parents were well off — my dad did well as a lawyer, took us on great trips, we had a really nice house," Gates said in the 2019 Netflix documentary "Inside Bill's Brain."

"And I've had so much luck in terms of all these opportunities."

Despite his very public life, his three children with French Gates — Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe — largely avoided the spotlight for most of their upbringing.

Like their father, the three Gates children attended Seattle's elite Lakeside School, a private high school that has been recognized for excellence in STEM subjects — and that received a $40 million donation from Bill Gates in 2005 to build its financial aid fund. (Bill Gates and Paul Allen met at Lakeside and went on to build Microsoft together.)

But as they have become adults, more details have emerged about their interests, professions, and family life.

While they have chosen different career paths, all three children are active in philanthropy — a space in which they will likely wield immense influence as they grow older. While their father has reportedly said that he plans to leave each of the Gates three children $10 million — a fraction of his fortune — they may inherit the family foundation, where most of his money will go.

Here's all we know about the Gates children.

Gates and his children did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

Jennifer Gates Nassar

jennifer bill gates
Jennifer and Bill in Monaco on June 30, 2018.fotopress/Getty Images

Jennifer Gates Nassar, who goes by Jenn, is the oldest of the Gates children at 28 years old.

A decorated equestrian, Gates Nassar started riding horses when she was six. Her father has shelled out millions of dollars to support her passion, including buying a California horse farm for $18 million and acquiring several parcels of land in Wellington, Florida, to build an equestrian facility.

In 2018, Gates Nassar received her undergraduate degree in human biology from Stanford University, where a computer science building was named for her father after he donated $6 million to the project in 1996.

She then attended the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, from which she graduated in May. She will continue at Mt. Sinai for her residency in pediatric research. During medical school, she also completed a Master's in Public Health at Columbia University — perhaps a natural interest given her parents' extensive philanthropic activity in the space.

"Can't believe we've reached this moment, a little girl's childhood aspiration come true," she wrote on Instagram. "It's been a whirlwind of learning, exams, late nights, tears, discipline, and many moments of self-doubt, but the highs certainly outweighed the lows these past 5 years."

In October 2021, she married Egyptian equestrian Nayel Nassar. In February 2023, reports surfaced that they bought a $51 million New York City penthouse with six bedrooms and a plunge pool. The next month, they welcomed their first child, Leila.

In a 2020 interview with the equestrian lifestyle publication Sidelines, Gates Nassar discussed growing up wealthy.

"I was born into a huge situation of privilege," she said. "I think it's about using those opportunities and learning from them to find things that I'm passionate about and hopefully make the world a little bit of a better place."

She recently posted about visiting Kenya, where she learned about childhood health and development in the country.

Rory John Gates

melinda and rory gates
Rory Gates, the least public of the Gates children, has reportedly infiltrated powerful circles of Washington, D.C.Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Rory John Gates, who is in his mid-20s, is Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates' only son and the most private of their children. He maintains private social media accounts, and his sisters and parents rarely post photos of him.

His mother did, however, write an essay about him in 2017. Titled "How I Raised a Feminist Son," she describes as a "great son and a great brother" who "inherited his parents' obsessive love of puzzles."

In 2022, he graduated from the University of Chicago, where, based on a photo posted on Facebook, he appears to have been active in moot court. At the time of his graduation, Jennifer Gates Nassar wrote that he had achieved a double major and master's degree.

Little is publicly known about what the middle Gates child has been up to since he graduated, but a Puck report from last year gave some clues, saying that he is seen as a "rich target for Democratic social-climbers, influence-peddlers, and all variety of money chasers." According to OpenSecrets, his most recent public giving was to Nikki Haley last year.

The same report says he works as a congressional analyst while also completing a doctorate.

Phoebe Gates

Phoebe Gates with her mother Melinda Gates at New York Fashion Week
Phoebe Gates with her mother, Melinda French Gates, at New York Fashion Week.Rebecca Smeyne/WWD via Getty Images

Phoebe Gates, 21, is the youngest of the Gates children.

After graduating from high school in 2021, she followed her eldest sister to Stanford, where she is set to graduate this year with a major in human biology and a minor in African studies, according to her LinkedIn.

She has long shown an interest in fashion, interning at British Vogue and posting on social media from fashion weeks in Copenhagen, New York, and Paris. Sustainability is often a theme of her content, which highlights vintage and secondhand stores and celebrates designers who don't use real leather and fur. That has culminated in her cofounding Phia, a sustainable fashion tech platform that is set to launch later this year, with her former college roommate.

Gates shares her parents' passion for public health. She's attended the UN General Assembly with her mother and spent time in Rwanda with Partners in Health, a nonprofit that has received funding from the Gates Foundation.

Like her mother, Gates often publicly discusses issues of gender equality, including in essays for Vogue and Teen Vogue, at philanthropic gatherings, and on social media, where she frequently posts about reproductive rights.

She's given thousands to Democrats and Democratic causes, including to Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Democratic Party of Montana, per data from OpenSecrets. According to Puck, she receives a "giving allowance" that makes it possible for her to cut the checks.

Perhaps the most public of the Gates children — she's got nearly 400,000 Instagram followers and a partnership with Tiffany & Co. — she's given glimpses into their upbringing, including strict rules around technology. The siblings were not allowed to use their phones before bed, she told Bustle, and to get around the rule, she created a cardboard decoy.

"I thought I could dupe my dad, and it worked, actually, for a couple nights," she told the outlet earlier this year. "And then my mom came home and was like, 'This is literally a piece of cardboard you're plugging in. You're using your phone in your room.' Oh, my gosh, I remember getting in trouble for that."

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