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Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Dead at 56

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On Monday, October 15th, Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen passed away after a lengthy battle with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in Seattle Washington. Allen had been first diagnosed with the disease in 2009 but had the illness in remission until it’s return in 2018. Allen is survived by his sister Jody Allen, nephews Duncan and Gardner and niece Faye.

Allen was born on January 21, 1953 in Seattle Washington to Kenneth and Edna Allen. Allen attended Lakeside School where he met Bill Gates and the two bonded over computers. Allen would later attend Washington State University but would later drop out. After moving closer to Gates, he convinced Gates to drop out and the pair created Microsoft. Allen would remain on Microsoft’s board of directors until 2000. In 1986 Allen would go on to form Vulcan Inc with his sister Jody. Allen also owned several sports teams including the Seattle Seahawks, the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Seattle Sounders. As of August 2018 Allen was worth $20 Billion.

Allen was not only a well-known and successful businessman, he was also a well-known philanthropist launching the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2003 and launching in 2014 both the Allen Institute for Cell Science and The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Allen had announced in a statement released via his personal website on October 1 that the disease had returned.

“I learned recently that the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that I was treated for in 2009 has returned,” Allen said. “My team of doctors has begun treatment of the disease and I plan on fighting this aggressively. A lot has happened in medicine since I overcame this disease in 2009. My doctors are optimistic that I will see good results from the latest therapies, as am I. I will continue to stay involved with Vulcan, the Allen Institutes, the Seahawks and Trail Blazers, as I have in the past. I have confidence in the leadership teams to manage their ongoing operations during my treatment. I am very grateful for the support I’ve received from my family and friends. 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.”

Following Allen’s passing, his sister Jody Allen released a statement on Vulcan’s website on behalf of the Allen family.

“My brother was a remarkable individual on every level,” Jody Allen said. “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.”

Following Allen’s passing, Bill Gates published an article for The Atlantic praising Paul for being the top force behind Microsoft and for being a visionary saying.

“Paul foresaw that computers would change the world. Even in high school, before any of us knew what a personal computer was, he was predicting that computer chips would get super powerful and would eventually give rise to a whole new industry. That insight of his was the cornerstone of everything we did together. In fact, Microsoft would never have happened without Paul. In December 1974, he and I were both living in the Boston area he was working, and I was going to college. One day he came and got me, insisting that I rush over to a nearby newsstand with him. When we arrived, he showed me the cover of the January issue of Popular Electronics. It featured a new computer called the Altair 8800, which ran on a powerful new chip. Paul looked at me and said, ‘This is happening without us!’ That moment marked the end of my college career and the beginning of our new company, Microsoft. It happened because of Paul.”

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