[dropcap]A[/dropcap]n investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, died on Monday.
The 65-year-old, a technology pioneer who helped launch the personal computer revolution as co-founder of Microsoft with Bill Gates, died due to complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a condition that surfaced in 2009 and returned just a few weeks ago.
About Paul Allen
- On Oct. 1, Allen wrote a short but upbeat note on his personal website, noting that “I’ve begun treatment & my doctors are optimistic that I will see a good result. Appreciate the support I’ve received & count on it as I fight this challenge.”
- Gates, describing himself as “heartbroken” in a statement released by his office, said his friend “wasn’t content starting one company, he channeled his intellect and compassion into a second act focused on improving people’s lives and strengthening communities in Seattle and around the world.
- “He was fond of saying, ‘If it has the potential to do good, then we should do it,'” Gates wrote. “That’s the kind of person he was.”
- Allen, a Seattle native, helped found Microsoft in 1975 when he was 22 with childhood friend Bill Gates and together they revolutionised the personal computer industry as Microsoft became the dominant software on computers during the 80s and 90s — turning each of them into billionaires.
- Allen left the software giant in 1983 after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease but stayed on the board until 2000.
- Allen donated more than $2.5 billion of his wealth to a diverse range of charitable causes including science, education, and the arts. He was also the owner of the “Octopus” a 414-foot megayacht used for research and rescue missions.
- Soon after leaving Microsoft, Allen launched Vulcan, a holding company for his diverse business and philanthropic interests. It was through Vulcan that Allen, who had a net worth of $20.3 billion, bought the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers.