Paul Allen was an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist who helped usher in the personal computer era when he co-Mi Microsoft with Bill Gates. Allen’s investment company Vulcan Inc. broke the news on Monday on twitter. Allen was 65.
It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of @PaulGAllen, our founder and noted technologist, philanthropist, community builder, conservationist, musician and supporter of the arts. All of us who worked with Paul feel an inexpressible loss today. https://t.co/OMLZ7ivvSD pic.twitter.com/Bfa8kK6Q8e
— Vulcan Inc. (@VulcanInc) October 15, 2018
Paul was a survivor of Hodgkin’s disease and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009. Earlier this month, Allen announced on his website that the disease had returned but that he was going to fight it aggressively and was optimistic.
“I am very grateful for the support I’ve received from my family and friends,” Allen wrote. “And I’ve appreciated the support of everyone on the teams and in the broader community in the past, and count on that support now as I fight this challenge.”
Some personal news: Recently, I learned the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma I battled in 2009 has returned. 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. https://t.co/ZolxS8lni5
— Paul Allen (@PaulGAllen) October 1, 2018
Allen co-founded the software giant with Bill Gates in 1975, but his partnership with Gates began in 1969, when Allen befriended the younger Gates at the private Seattle high school the two attended and began hanging out together in the computer room. The two honed their programming skills on time-sharing computer systems through the school’s Teletype terminal.
Bill Gates said in a statement he was,
“Heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends.”
Gates also regarded that ‘Personal computing would not have existed without Allen.’
The pair began calling their venture “Micro-Soft” — a name Allen claimed credit for — and by 1978, the young software maker had chalked up its first $1 million in sales. Allen left Microsoft in 1982 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, from which he recovered fully after several months of radiation therapy.
After his departure from Microsoft, Allenwith Gates following the publication of Allen’s 2011 book Idea Man. In it, Allen alleged that Gates and the then recently hired (and future CEO) Steve Ballmer sought ways to take ownership stakes from Allen’s share of Microsoft — even when Allen was wrestling with cancer.
After the controversy, Allen appeared on 60 Minutes and said the book was, but instead was meant to serve as a record of what happened.
Allen became one of the richest men in the world when Microsoft went public in 1986, and he used his wealth to purchase the Portland Trail Blazers NBA basketball and Seattle Seahawks NFL football teams. In 1998, he bought a controlling interest in Charter Communications, now the second-largest cable TV provider in the US. He also founded Vulcan to make investments in emerging technologies and donate to philanthropic causes.
In a statement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said,
“Allen’s contributions to our company, our industry and our community are indispensable. As co-founder of Microsoft, in his own quiet and persistent way, he created magical products, experiences and institutions, and in doing so, he changed the world.
“I have learned so much from him — his inquisitiveness, his curiosity, and push for high standards is something that will continue to inspire me and all of us a Microsoft. Our hearts are with Paul’s family and loved ones. Rest in peace.”
Statement from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on the passing of Paul Allen: pic.twitter.com/1iLDLenLKz
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) October 15, 2018
Apple CEO Tim Cook also tweeted that the tech world had “lost a pioneer.”
Our industry has lost a pioneer and our world has lost a force for good. We send our deepest condolences to Paul’s friends, the Allen family and everyone at Microsoft.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) October 15, 2018
Paul Allen dedicated himself to philanthropy. Allen gave more than $2bn to causes including ocean health, homelessness and science.
At the time of his death, Allen was ranked by Forbes as the 21st richest person on its real-time list of the world’s billionaires. His estimated net worth was valued at $20.3 billion.
With Inputs from cnet.com
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