Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder and renowned philanthropist, died at 65 from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Seattle.
Known for his wit, generosity and concern for the world, Allen always had time for family and friends. He will be remembered for his enthusiasm for solving the world’s toughest troubles with his out of the box thinking ability.
His interests ranged from technology to biosciences, conservation, AI, music and arts. Allen focused on changing individual lives and even building stronger communities in the world. From giving birth to personal computing in partnership with Bill Gates in 1975 to creating the Allen Institute for Cell Science in 2014 to encourage research work in the biosciences field.
“My brother was a remarkable individual on every level. While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much-loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend,” said Jody Allen, Paul Allen’s sister, in a statement.
Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft along with Bill Gates about four decades ago with a dream to transform the world with technology. Allen also owned the NFL Seattle Seahawks football team and the NBA Portland Trail Blazers. In 1983, Allen left Microsoft after he was diagnosed with blood cancer. However, he successfully survived the disease and created Vulcan, a media investment firm.
“I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends...personal computing would not have existed without him,” said Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and long-time partner and friend of Allen.
As school friends who shared a similar passion for technology and computers, Gates and Allen went on to co-create Microsoft in 1975. Their partnership extended towards social outreach projects as well.
“His contributions to the world of technology and philanthropy will live on for generations to come,” Gates said. “I will miss him tremendously.”
Allen became a billionaire at the age of 37 in 1990. However, his portfolio was marked with donations to various causes. He launched the Allen Institute for Brain Science AIBS with $100 Mn in seed money in 2003. Fast forward to 2014 when he pledged $100 Mn to help stop the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
About a decade ago in 2008, his philanthropic giving had reached $1 Bn in total. His social outreach was not restricted only towards technological advancements. An active member of the Seattle arts community, Allen rescued Seattle Cinerama from demolition--he just bought the theatre and restored it!
As an ode to the personal computer that started it all, Allen even opened the Living Computer Museum in 2012 to Seattle’s public. The museum holds vintage devices, machines and mainframes that Seattle’s residents can experience.
Several members of the tech community are mourning the loss of Allen and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is no exception.
“He created magical products, experiences and institutions, and in doing so, he changed the world,” Nadella said. “I have learned so much from him--his inquisitiveness, curiosity and push for high standards are something that will continue to inspire me and all of us at Microsoft.”
Photo credit: Times