Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen dies at the age of 65

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Technologist, entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist Paul Allen dies in Seattle from complications related to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma two weeks after he said he was being treated for the disease.

Paul Allen, the Co-founder of Microsoft, died at the age of 65 from complications related to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Allen had battled the disease in 2009 and earlier this month announced that his lymphoma had returned.

The self-described “idea man”  co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975.

Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, years after the two were fellow students at a private school in Seattle.

Paul Allen and Bill Gates were childhood friends; they dropped out of college to found Microsoft, which later went on to to become the largest software products company in the world and revolutionised personal computing. He officially resigned from the Microsoft Board of Directors in 2000.

Speaking on his death, Bill Gates said, “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.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, “Paul Allen’s contributions to our company, our industry and to 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, curiosity and push for high standards are something that will continue to inspire me and all of us at Microsoft. Our hearts are with Paul’s family and loved ones. Rest in peace.”

Multi-faceted personality

Paul Allen was ranked among the world’s wealthiest individuals, with an estimated net worth more than $20 billion. He was a multi-faceted personality whose career extended beyond technology.

Through his investment arm, Vulcan, Allen donated money for various philanthropic efforts and organisations. He supported research in artificial intelligence and new frontier technologies, and was an accomplished guitarist and aviation enthusiast. Allen also owned two professional sports teams – NFL Seattle Seahawks and NBA Portland Trailblazers.

Vulcan CEO Bill Hilf in a statement said, “All of us who had the honour of working with Paul feel inexpressible loss today. 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.”

The Microsoft Co-founder gave more than $2 billion towards the advancement of science, technology, education, wildlife conservation, the arts, and community services. He also became a signatory of The Giving Pledge, promising to give at least half of his fortune to philanthropic causes.

Allen’s sister, Jody, said he 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,” she said in a statement. “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.”