This article highlights 12 years (2007–2019) of research, achievements, lessons learned, challenges and gaps in dis- covery‐to‐delivery research in legumes emanating from three projects, collectively called Tropical Legumes (TL) with a total investment of about US$ 67 million funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These projects were implemented by three CGIAR centres (ICRISAT, CIAT and IITA) together with 15 national agricultural research sys- tem partners in sub‐Saharan Africa and South Asia. The TL projects together with some of their precursors and complementary projects from other agencies, facilitated the development of 266 improved legume varieties and the production of about 497,901 tons of certified seeds of the target legume crops in the focus countries. The certified seeds have been planted on about 5.0 million ha by more than 25 million smallholder farmers in the 15 countries and beyond, producing about 6.1 million tons of grain worth US$ 3.2 billion. Furthermore, the projects also trained 52 next generation scientists that included 10 women, by supporting 34 Masters degrees and 18 PhD degrees.