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Bill and Melinda Gates: philanthropy caught in the crosshairs of society's obsession with celebrity

By Beth Breeze, Director, Centre for Philanthropy, University of Kent
Genevieve Shaker, Associate Professor of Philanthropic Studies, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, IUPUI
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When does an extremely normal event become global headline news, and when does a “historic achievement for humanity” fail to create much of a ripple in the news cycle? When the key players in both stories are high-profile philanthropists.

Just like almost half (44.6%) of their fellow US citizens, Bill and Melinda Gates’ marriage has ended in divorce. Unlike most people, the couple’s philanthropic efforts in global public health have saved and extended millions of lives. For example, they’re credited with helping eradicate most…

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