Melinda Gates New Man in Her Life ... First Since Split With Bill

Melinda Gates is one of the richest women in the world, but now she's off the market ... we've learned the philanthropist and ex-wife of Bill Gates has a new man in her life.

Sources with direct knowledge tell us ... Melinda's been dating Jon Du Pre for a few months and maybe longer. Du Pre is a former reporter and touts himself as a Strategic Communications Specialist, with 35 years of experience in broadcasting, writing, video production, public speaking and more. He was a TV correspondent for Fox News Channel in the late '90s and early 2000s.

Melinda hasn't been seen a whole lot publicly since she and Bill finalized their divorce in August. Melinda and Jon were spotted together at a Nets and Celtics game back in April ... so you gotta imagine they've been seeing each other since at least back then.

What's more ... we know Melinda, Jon and some members of their families recently hit Pelican Hill -- the 5-star hotel in Newport Beach.

It's unclear how 58-year-old Melinda and Jon -- who is in his 60's -- first met, but nonetheless ... they appear to be getting along just fine.

TMZ broke the story -- things between Bill and Melinda were nasty leading up to their divorce -- including a private island trip Melinda planned for her family to avoid the media onslaught once the divorce became public ... a trip Bill was not invited to join.

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