The editorial board of The Dallas Morning News announced Saturday that it has picked philanthropist Melinda Gates as its “Texan of the Year,” in part for her work to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Gates, a 54-year-old Dallas native, is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation has spent decades working to help people lead healthy lives, including through investments in vaccine development programs and other efforts to combat infectious diseases.
In selecting Gates, the paper cited her foundation’s $1.75 billion in donations to fight COVID-19 in 2020.
“In a year of pandemic and economic turmoil, at a time when our communities are deeply divided and facing steep challenges, Melinda Gates’ leadership stands out,” Dallas Morning News editorial page editor Brendan Miniter said in a statement.
Gates grew up in Dallas and joined the Microsoft Corporation in 1987 after completing a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. She and Microsoft CEO Bill Gates were married in 1994. They live near Seattle with their children.