• Paul Allen, the billionaire Co-Founder of Microsoft, has passed away at age 65 after a battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • Allen, a philanthropist, also owned the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers.
  • A childhood friend of Bill Gates, it was actually Allen who came up with the name “Micro-Soft.”
  • Allen officially left his day-to-day role at Microsoft in 1983, but stayed on the board until 2000.
  • The Seattle billionaire disclosed earlier this month that he was receiving treatment for the disease.
  • Allen was a philanthropist and also the owner of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and had a stake in Seattle’s Sounders soccer team.

San Francisco: Paul Allen, who founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in the 1970s and later went on to become an investor, philanthropist and sports owner, died Monday after his latest battle with cancer at age 65.

Paul Allen died just two weeks after publicly revealing that non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma he fought into remission nine years ago had returned. The incurable cancer affects white blood cells.

RIP! Billionaire, Paul Allen, Microsoft Co-Founder, Dies From Cancer, at 65, Here's the, everybody reaction

Allen’s Vulcan Inc. announced that he died in Seattle at 65 years old.

Allen was first diagnosed with the cancer in 2009, and disclosed earlier this month that it had returned after a period of remission. At the time, Allen said that he planned on staying involved with his various business ventures. It was the third time that Allen has been diagnosed with some form of lymphoma. He survived Hodgkin’s lymphoma after being diagnosed in the 1980s.

Allen, a Seattle native, and Gates were childhood friends. In 1972, while in high school, the pair launched Traf-o-Data, a software company that tracked and analyzed traffic patterns. When Gates went to Harvard, Allen stayed local and went to Washington State University, though he ended up dropping out.

RIP! Billionaire, Paul Allen, Microsoft Co-Founder, Dies From Cancer, at 65, Here's the, everybody reaction

It was Allen who suggested that the two work together to make a BASIC language interpreter for the then cutting-edge Altair 8800 microcomputer, which became Microsoft’s first product. The name “Micro-Soft” for their joint venture was Allen’s idea.

Further, Allen was responsible for the key deal that made Microsoft a major player in the PC revolution: When Gates promised IBM in 1980 that Microsoft would supply an operating system for its flagship PC, it was Allen who went and purchased the rights to the “Quick and Dirty Operating System,” or QDOS, from developer Tim Paterson. Microsoft rebranded QDOS as MS-DOS, or the Microsoft Disk Operating System, and supplied it to IBM per the deal.

In 1983, Allen stepped aside from day-to-day operations at Microsoft, not long after beginning treatment for his first diagnosis with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He remained on the company’s board of directors until 2000.

Allen would later write that his departure was marked by a period of friction with Gates, where they disagreed over the direction of the company. Allen said that Gates tried to buy out his shares in the company, but that he ultimately decided to hang on to his stake — which made Allen his fortune when Microsoft went public in 1986.

RIP! Billionaire, Paul Allen, Microsoft Co-Founder, Dies From Cancer, at 65, Here's the, everybody reaction

Allen was also known as a musician. As a guitarist, he fronted a band called The Underthinkers, and wrote or cowrote every song on their 2013 album. He also founded Seattle’s Experience Music Project, or EMP, which was originally a museum devoted to his hero Jimi Hendrix. Allen also started the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, in the same building as the EMP. The two have since been combined into the Museum of Pop Culture. Allen’s net worth was pegged at $20 billion. Lymphomas are cancers that attack the lymphatic system. Non-Hodgkin’s is more common than Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Allen’s sister, Jody Allen, released the following statement:

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.

Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern. For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends. At this time of loss and grief for us – and so many others – we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day.

In recent years, Allen was known as the owner of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, and part owner of the Major League Soccer team the Seattle Sounders, along with a variety of business and charitable ventures.

One of the world’s wealthiest billionaires, Allen also founded Stratolaunch Systems, which built the world’s largest plane designed as a colossal rocket-launching aircraft touted as the future of space travel.

RIP! Billionaire, Paul Allen, Microsoft Co-Founder, Dies From Cancer, at 65, Here's the, everybody reaction

The craft was on track for its first launch demonstration as early at 2019.

Allen died just two weeks after publicly revealing that non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma he fought into remission nine years ago had returned. The incurable cancer affects white blood cells.

He never married and had no children.

Classmate of Gates

RIP! Billionaire, Paul Allen, Microsoft Co-Founder, Dies From Cancer, at 65, Here's the, everybody reaction

He was a high school classmate of Gates in Seattle, and later, while working as a computer programmer, persuaded his friend to drop out of Harvard to create Microsoft, which became the world’s most valuable company in the 1990s.

Allen had left Microsoft by 1983 for health reasons but held on to shares which made up the bulk of his fortune, estimated at some $20 billion.

“All of us who had the honour of working with Paul feel inexpressible loss today,” said a statement by Vulcan, the investment firm that managed his operations.

Bill Gates, who co-founded Microsoft with Allen, said that “personal computing would not have existed without him”:

“I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Paul Allen. From our early days together at Lakeside School, through our partnership in the creation of Microsoft, to some of our joint philanthropic projects over the years, Paul was a true partner and dear friend. Personal computing would not have existed without him.

But Paul wasn’t content with 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.” That’s the kind of person he was.

Paul loved life and those around him, and we all cherished him in return. He deserved much more time, but his contributions to the world of technology and philanthropy will live on for generations to come. I will miss him tremendously.”

“He possessed a remarkable intellect and a passion to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems, with the conviction that creative thinking and new approaches could make profound and lasting impact.”

While Gates attended Harvard, Allen studied at the University of Washington and invested heavily in research projects in his hometown of Seattle.

He invested $100 million to found the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2003.

A decade later, he founded the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence to study the impacts on society of new technologies and the Allen Institute for Cell Science to fund research for treatment of diseases.

Big man in sports

RIP! Billionaire, Paul Allen, Microsoft Co-Founder, Dies From Cancer, at 65, Here's the, everybody reaction

In the world of sports, Allen in 1988 bought the Trail Blazers, taking the team to the NBA finals twice.

He was also credited with putting Seattle on the map for the NFL.

Paul Allen was the driving force behind keeping the NFL in the Pacific Northwest,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

“His vision led to the construction of CenturyLink Field and the building of a team that played in three Super Bowls, winning the championship in Super Bowl XLVIII. ”

RIP! Billionaire, Paul Allen, Microsoft Co-Founder, Dies From Cancer, at 65, Here's the, everybody reaction

His personal charitable foundation gave to a diverse array of causes including anti-poaching initiatives in Africa, climate and energy research, and projects on homelessness, as well as the arts and culture.

In his 2011 memoir Idea Man, Allen described a somewhat stormy relationship with Gates in the early days of Microsoft.

Allen wrote that he had expected a 50-50 split in the new company, but Gates insisted on taking 60 percent, and later raised it to 64 percent, claiming that Gates schemed to “rip me off.”

Reaction

RIP! Billionaire, Paul Allen, Microsoft Co-Founder, Dies From Cancer, at 65, Here's the, everybody reaction

Current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Allen made “indispensible” contributions to Microsoft and the technology industry. Nadella also said he learned a lot from Allen and will continue to be inspired by him.

“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,” Nadella said in a statement.

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called Allen a “truly wonderful, bright and inspiring person.”

Steven Sinofsky, former president of Microsoft’s Windows division, said Allen “did so much to shape lives with computing and his later work in science, community, and research.”


Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll said he was deeply saddened by Allen’s death.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Allen was “the driving force behind keeping the NFL in the Pacific Northwest.” Goodell said he valued Allen’s advice on a wide range of subjects and sent his condolences.

“His passion for the game, combined with his quiet determination, led to a model organization on and off the field. He worked tirelessly alongside our medical advisers to identify new ways to make the game safer and protect our players from unnecessary risk” Goodell said in a statement.

The Trail Blazers tweeted, “We miss you. We thank you. We love you.”

Allen’s death was met with an outpouring of condolences from tech leaders. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said with Allen’s death, the world has “lost a great technology pioneer today.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook called him a “pioneer” and a “force for good.”

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said he was saddened by Allen’s passing.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos praised his “relentless” push forward in technology:

Soo Sad…

RIP!

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