Paul Allen, a Microsoft co-founder and owner of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, died due to complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Seattle on Monday. He was 65. News of his passing was confirmed on the website of his media company, Vulcan Inc.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our founder, Paul G. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and noted technologist, philanthropist, community builder, conservationist, musician, and supporter of the arts. Mr. Allen died on Monday afternoon, October 15, 2018, from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Seattle. Mr. Allen was 65 years old,” Vulcan said in a statement.
Allen co-founded Microsoft alongside Bill Gates in 1975 after the two entrepreneurs started marketing a BASIC programming language interpreter. Allen called the software Micro-Soft. Allen’s ambition for Microsoft was to build software for personal computers. He was able to achieve that goal by helping Microsoft acquire Q-DOS. Together, Gates and Allen transformed Q-DOS into MS-DOS, which eventually became the operating system installed on IBM’s personal computers. In total, Allen holds 43 patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Because of Microsoft’s success, Allen’s personal wealth also grew with the company. He became a billionaire in his early 30s; Allen’s net worth is estimated to be close to $20 billion. He made a number of investments in emerging and new technologies and was a frequent contributor to charities. Allen also owned sports franchises in the Pacific Northwest.
“While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us, he was a much-loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend,” Allen’s sister, Jody, said in a statement. “Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern.” Allen described himself as a philanthropist, investor, entrepreneur, author, owner of two sports team, guitarist, neuroscience supporter, space pioneer, and Microsoft co-founder.
— Paul Allen (@PaulGAllen) October 15, 2018
After being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1982, Allen left his role at Microsoft. He overcame the disease after months of radiation. In 2000, Allen resigned from his board position at Microsoft, but remained with the company as a strategy consultant. In 2009, Allen was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The disease was successfully treated until the cancer returned in 2018.
Though Allen never married and isn’t survived by any children, his spirit of entrepreneurship lives on. “As long as we work together — with both urgency and determination — there are no limits to what we can achieve,” his last tweet stated on the day of his death.
Details about Allen’s memorial services will be released as soon as they become available, Vulcan said.
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