“He created magical products, experiences, and institutions, and in doing so, he changed the world”
Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder alongside Bill Gates, has died at the age of 65.
According to a statement from Allen’s privately-held company Vulcan Inc, the Microsoft co-founder died on Monday afternoon in Seattle following complications from non-Hodkin’s lymphoma.
Allen’s family released a statement, signed by his sister and Vulcaln co-founder Jody Allen: “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 of 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.”
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement: “Paul Allen’s contributions to our company, our industry, and to our community are indispensable. As co-founder of Microsoft, in his 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 is something that will continue to inspire me and all of us at Microsoft.”
According to the BBC, Allen’s Microsoft co-founder Gates said: “I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends… Personal computing would not have existed without him.”
Allen met Bill Gates at high school in Seattle in 1968. According to Allen’s memoir, he and Gates shared a passion for computers and used to go dumpster diving for print-outs of computer programme code.
Both later dropped out of university to found Microsoft in 1975 (you might have heard of it). Allen resigned from the company eight years later due to complications with non-Hodkin’s lymphoma, but was later cleared by doctors of the disease.
In the following three years after Allen’s departure, Microsoft released the first iteration of Windows, moved headquarters, and went public, resulting in a monumental rise in shares for the company.
Allen, meanwhile, founded Vulcan three years later to manage various business activities, such as real estate, tech research, and sports teams – including the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers.
By 1990, he had become a billionaire, aged 37.
The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence also falls under Vulcan. This was founded in 2013 for various unusual research ventures in the technology, including an AI system that can pass biology exams. The institute also partnered with the University of Washington this year for an AI system that would predict dog behaviour.
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Vulcan also provided an outlet for Allen’s philanthropic efforts, which included $100 million to support efforts to stop the Ebola outbreak in 2014.
Vulcan CEO Bill Hilf said in a statement: “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.
“Millions of people were touched by his generosity, his persistence in pursuit of a better world, and his drive to accomplish as much as he could with the time and resources at his disposal.
“Paul’s life was diverse and lived with gusto. It reflected his myriad interests in technology, music and the arts, biosciences and artificial intelligence, conservation and in the power of shared experience – in a stadium or a neighbourhood – to transform individual lives and whole communities.”