By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda – who, together, run the world’s largest private philanthropic organization – are getting divorced aver 27 years of marriage.

The couple announced their pending divorce in a joint statement Monday afternoon:

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and build a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives. We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”

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Last year, Bill Gates, formerly the world’s richest person, said he was stepping down from Microsoft’s board to focus on philanthropy. He was Microsoft’s CEO until 2000, and since then has gradually scaled back his involvement in the company he started with Paul Allen in 1975. He transitioned out of a day-to-day role in Microsoft in 2008 and served as chairman of the board until 2014.

Three years ago, Bill and Melinda Gates bought a home across the street from the Hyde Park campus of the University of Chicago. Their son, Rory, has since enrolled at the university, although it’s unclear if he’s living at that house.

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“People were talking when he was visiting the school. They saw him with some security in the back,” said Richard Oyeniran, a student at the University of Chicago, said at the time the house was sold. “A couple of our guys met him while he was here. He doesn’t travel alone. I’ve heard he has a security detail following close behind.”

The home is secured with five outside surveillance cameras. The inside is nearly 3,000 square feet with four and a half bedrooms, sprawling deck space, a kitchen with quartz counter-tops, and built-in Viking appliances.

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The home sold for $1.25 million at the time.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff