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The incredible life of Melinda Gates — one of the world’s richest and most powerful women

Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates is best known as Bill's other half. Some may even say she's his better half.

Melinda — who shares an estimated fortune of $89.4 billion with her husband — has become one of the most powerful female philanthropists in the world as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which she helmed virtually on her own for the first six years of operation.

In addition to the pair's education and healthcare initiatives, Melinda takes a personal interest in women's issues around the world. At the forefront of her agenda is expanding the availability of contraception and, most recently, bringing awareness to the concept of time poverty — the notion that hours of daily unpaid work like household chores end up "robbing women of their potential."

"When you invest in women, you invest in the people who invest in everybody else," she wrote in a Fortune article last year outlining the benefits of hiring women in business. "And if you gradually start to take action, it won’t be long before you realize that investing in women is good for your mind, good for your soul, and good for your business."

On International Women's Day, a celebration of women's progress and achievements, here's a look at the incredible force that is Melinda Gates.

SEE ALSO: Melinda Gates reveals the best way for cash-strapped 20-somethings to make a big impact in philanthropy

DON'T MISS: The Bill Gates Interview

Melinda Gates (neè French) grew up in Dallas, Texas, with her parents — a stay-at-home mother and an aerospace-engineer father — and her three siblings. The family belonged to the local Roman Catholic parish.

Source: Telegraph



The Frenches were intent on sending all four of their children to college, so Melinda's father started a side business for rental properties. "We would help him run the business and keep the books," she said. "We saw money coming in and money going out."

Source: Fortune



Melinda was valedictorian and head of the drill team at her high school, Ursuline Academy of Dallas. In 2007, the Gates Foundation donated $7 million to Ursuline for the construction of The French Family Science, Math, and Technology Center — a 70,000 sq. ft. LEED Gold certified laboratory and classroom building.

Source: Ursuline Dallas, Marie Claire



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

By | 2016-03-14T14:30:00-05:00 March 8th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The incredible rise of billionaire Donald Bren, the richest real estate developer in America

Donald Bren

California native Donald Bren is the wealthiest real estate developer in America, according to our list of the 50 richest people on earth, produced in collaboration with Wealth-X.

The mogul has an estimated net worth of $17 billion that comes primarily from his development and property investments in Southern California.

Bren's privately-held real estate investment company, Irvine Company, has a portfolio of properties that exceeds 110 million square feet and includes office buildings, apartments, marinas, and hotels, most of which is located in picturesque Orange County.

At 83 years old, the former US Marine is still running the show as chairman of Irvine Company — here's the story behind his success.

SEE ALSO: The 29 richest people in America

AND: How IKEA creator Ingvar Kamprad built the world's largest furniture retailer — and a $39 billion fortune

Donald Bren was born in Los Angeles in 1932. His father, a movie producer, and his mother, a patron of the performing arts, divorced when he was 10. His father remarried to an actress and his mother to a well-off industrialist.

Sources: Wealth-XFortune



Bren and his brother attended Beverly Hills High School and spent their summers working as carpenters for their dad's real estate development business. A key lesson he learned from his father: "When you hold property over the long term, you’re able to create better values and you have something tangible to show for it," Bren told the Los Angeles Times in 2011.

Sources: Fortune, Los Angeles Times

 



Bren earned a partial athletic scholarship to the University of Washington for skiing. He was reportedly a stylish skier and an avid competitor who was set to go to the 1956 Olympics but couldn't participate because of a broken ankle.

Source: Fortune



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

By | 2016-03-05T11:00:00-06:00 March 1st, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments