Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Redmond, WA, United States (4E) – Paul Allen, the Washington-born man who conceived the idea for Microsoft Corporation and recruited a friend named Bill Gates to join him, died the afternoon of Oct. 15 from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that recurred only earlier this month.
A bachelor who never married, Allen died at 65 years of age. He is survived by his sister, Jo Lynn, who said her brother was “a remarkable individual on every level.”
At the time of his death, the reclusive Allen was the 46th-richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $20.3 billion. He owned 100 million shares of Microsoft but is better known for his unabashed support for science and knowledge and his expansive philanthropy.
In a lifetime of philanthropy, Allen gave more than $2 billion towards a variety of causes such as education, wildlife and environmental conservation, the arts and health and community services.
He was the founder of the Allen Institute for Brain Science; the Institute for Artificial Intelligence; the Institute for Cell Science and Stratolaunch Systems, which has built the world’s largest aircraft.
Allen was also the founder and Chairman of Vulcan Inc., which manages his various business and philanthropy. His multibillion-dollar investment portfolio include technology and media companies, scientific research, real estate holdings, private spaceflight ventures, and stakes in other companies.
He owned two professional sports teams: the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football Leagueand the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association. He was also part-owner of the Seattle Sounders Football Club, which joined Major League Soccer in 2009.
Vulcan tweeted: “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.”
His sister said that 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.”
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.”
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,” said Nadella.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called Allen a “truly wonderful, bright and inspiring person.”
The Trail Blazers tweeted, “We miss you. We thank you. We love you.”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said: “We lost a great technology pioneer today – thank you Paul Allen for your immense contributions to the world through your work and your philanthropy. Thoughts are with his family and the entire Microsoft community.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted: “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.”
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