In 1989, a 28 year old Microsoft executive named Melinda French caught the eye of Bill Gates, then 37. The very bright and organized Melinda was a perfect match for Gates. In time, their relationship grew as they discovered an intimate and intellectual connection. On January 1, 1994, Melinda and Bill were married in Hawaii. But only a few months later heartbreak struck Bill Gates as his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died in June 1994. Gates was devastated.
Bill and Melinda took some time off in 1995 to travel to several countries and get a new perspective on life and the world. In 1996, their first daughter, Jennifer, was born. A year later, Gates moved his family into a 55,000 square foot, $54 million house on the shore of Lake Washington. Though the house serves as a business center, it is said to be a very cozy home for the couple and their three children.