Rory John Gates is the second child and only son of Bill and Melinda Gates. He was born on May 23, 1999, in Seattle, Wash. and is smack-dab in the middle of his family of five with an older sister, Jennifer, and younger sister, Phoebe. Melinda has toted her son on Instagram as having, “inherited his parents’ obsessive love of puzzles” and as a “feminist.” While that’s all well and good, his world, as well as his siblings’, was undoubtedly rocked by the announcement that their billionaire parents are divorcing after 27 years of marriage.

Bill and Melinda have gone to great lengths to protect their kids from the scrutiny that comes with being part of a very famous, and rich, family. His parents took a normal approach to parenting, despite being billionaires many times over by the time he was born. In fact, in 1999, his father’s net worth briefly crossed the $100 billion threshold during the first dot-com boom, per Celebrity Net Worth. Yet, Rory and his sisters were regularly asked to complete household chores growing up like taking out the trash (you know, like other average American kids), per Time (via Global Citizen). Additionally, Rory and his sisters were not allowed to use cell phones until they turned 13 years old, and had limited social media use as well, per CelebRadar.

Well, if these interesting tidbits are piquing your interest, here’s more you didn’t know about Rory John Gates.

Rory followed in his parents' footsteps in school

Rory John Gates (surprise, surprise) has a pretty good head on his shoulders. When he was 10 years old, he wrote a poem about the physics called “Rory’s Diamante Poem,” which made his father quite proud. Bill published the poem on his blog, writing that it came as a result of an educational vacation to Europe. “Melinda and I tutored our kids while we all were in Europe on vacation,” Bill wrote. “We visited museums and historical sites and tried to help them appreciate different cultures. I handled the science tutoring, and one of our topics was the physics of light.” Rory’s resulting poem is word bubble-style, taking the shape of a diamond. It’s pretty impressive for age 10!  

In fact, Rory has followed in his parents’ footsteps in many ways. He attended Lakeside School in Seattle, Wash. just like his dad and sisters, per The Sun. Rory then got his bachelor’s degree at Duke University, just like his mom. His mother said she spent, “some of the best years of my life,” earning two degree at Duke.

Rory and his siblings were also given a religious education, per Rolling Stone. As Bill Gates said, “We’ve raised our kids in a religious way; they’ve gone to the Catholic church that Melinda goes to and I participate in.” Bill added that reducing inequality in the world is another “religious belief” they’ve passed down.

Melinda Gates called her son, "compassionate and curious"

When Rory John Gates turned 18, his mother Melinda Gates took to Instagram (as we began to mention earlier) to gush about her son. She wrote, “When my son Rory was born, I spent a lot of time imagining what this little person would be like and who he would be as he grew up. Now, as we near his 18th birthday, I have my answer.”Melinda went on to say that her son is, “compassionate and curious.” She remarked that he’s “a great son and a caring brother.” She also revealed that he son is a “feminist,” the trait that makes her the proudest. She concluded her tribute by saying, “As he goes out into the world [to Duke, that is], I feel more optimistic than ever about the future his generation will build.”

Melinda also touted her son as quite well-travelled, gaining a lot from the experiences. “They’ve … been fortunate to travel, from early ages,” Melinda told Oprah Daily. “They’ve slept right next to us in goat huts in poor villages in Tanzania, walked miles to fetch water, cut wood with dull machetes, learned that a farmer’s pig is how he’ll pay for a son’s education. They see how others live and know they are lucky to be who they are and to have grown up in the United States.”

Rory is attending law school at the University of Chicago

It is believed that Rory John Gates is attending law school at the University of Chicago. The Chicago Tribune reported that in 2018, Bill Gates was believed to have purchased a “five-bedroom, 3,000 square foot” stunner in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago for $1.25 million. “The reason for the purchase of the three-story house could not be determined, although its proximity to the University of Chicago — it’s just three houses from campus — and the fact that the Gateses’ son, Rory, is college-age may offer a clue,” they wrote. The purchase deed for the house, per the Chicago Tribune, connected to a Gates P.O. box. 

Not long after the purchase of the house, a photo was posted (as seen above) to the Facebook account of a University of Chicago debate team. In it, Rory and other young adults are holding plaques and/or gavels outside the Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom. The page says that Rory is on the team. Sure seems like he’s attending school there!

If it is to be believed that Rory is training to become a lawyer, it’s a bit of an ironic departure, since his father infamously dropped out of Harvard University.

Rory has good morals

Rory John Gates, son of two of the biggest philanthropists in the world, has been very influenced by his parents’ way of thinking. He was raised to not adhere to stereotypes. “I will never forget the moment a few years ago when I realized that I had been asking Rory to take the garbage out and not his sisters — a task that studies say usually goes to boys more often than girls,” Melinda Gates told Time, per Global Citizen. “I was also disappointed to notice that I often held our daughters to a much higher standard than our son when it came to keeping their rooms clean.”

Rory Gates was, and clearly is, an up-stander.” On their previously mentioned East Africa trip in 2015, Melinda and Rory met with a group of men who proudly told the Gates’ that they were busting through gender roles in their community by helping their wives with chores. Melinda was impressed. Rory was not. 

“I thought that, in many ways, what these men were doing was extraordinary. Rory respectfully disagreed.” Gates explained to Time, per Global Citizen. “He told me he thinks that standing up to unfair norms is nothing more than exactly what men everywhere should be doing. Yes, he recognizes that the more entrenched the norms, the more courage it takes to confront them. But he also believes that it’s a universal responsibility and one that he’s already striving to uphold in his own life.”

He's not inheriting his parents' money

In 2016, Bill Gates made it known that when he dies, his children are not inheriting his billions. He’s setting aside $10 million (per The Independent) apiece for Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe. Sure, that’s a lot of money by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a drop in the bucket (make that the sea) for Gates and his approximately $129 billion net worth.

Gates is one of the founders and a member of The Giving Pledge, a campaign to encourage very wealthy people to donate at least half of their wealth to philanthropic causes during their lifetime. Gates himself plans on leaving the bulk of his fortune to his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund education and health projects across the globe.

“It’s not a favor to kids to have them have huge sums of wealth,” Gates told This Morning, per The Daily Mail. “It distorts anything they might do, creating their own path. … Our kids will receive a great education and some money so they are never going to be poorly off but they’ll go out and have their own career.” Rory John Gates may be a “feminist” who was raised right, but he’s going to have to make his own way.

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