When Paul Allen passed away on October 15, 2018, it deeply affected the emotions of people around the world. Not only did Allen drive the revolution of personal computing, but he also is known for his influence in sports, arts, music, culture, and philanthropy. Allen had passed away due to complications related to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma about two weeks after he released a statement about being treated for the disease. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is cancer that originates in the lymphatic system, which is the disease-fighting network that spreads throughout the body.
Paul Allen is especially known as being the co-founder of Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975. The two of them had met at a private school in Seattle. In 1982, Allen left Microsoft when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease.
“I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Paul Allen,” said Gates. “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 that Allen’s contributions were “indispensable.” Nadella said that as a co-founder of Microsoft, Allen created “magical products, experiences and institutions.”
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. https://t.co/OMLZ7ivvSD pic.twitter.com/Bfa8kK6Q8e
— Vulcan Inc. (@VulcanInc) October 15, 2018
After Allen left Microsoft, he remained on the board of directors for several years and launched a philanthropic foundation. Plus he launched an investment company called Vulcan.
“All of us who had the honor of working with Paul feel inexpressible loss today,” stated Vulcan CEO Bill Hilf in a release on October 15th. “Today we mourn our boss, mentor and friend whose 65 years were too short — and acknowledge the honor it has been to work alongside someone whose life transformed the world.”
And Allen purchased the NBA Portland Trail Blazers basketball team and the NFL Seattle Seahawks football team after leaving Microsoft.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that “Paul Allen was the ultimate trail blazer.” And Silver pointed out that Allen was one of the longest tenured owners in the NBA. “He was a valued voice who challenged assumptions and conventional wisdom,” explained Silver.
And NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that Allen was the “driving force” behind keeping the NFL in the Pacific Northwest. Goodell also credited Allen for working tirelessly alongside medical advisers to “identify new ways to make the game safer and protect our players from unnecessary risk.”
According to Forbes, Allen’s net worth was estimated at $20.3 billion at the time of his death. And he donated over $2 billion to charity. Allen had also launched space transportation company Stratolaunch and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.
Leonardo DiCaprio also worked with Allen on a shark conservation program. “Sad to hear of the passing of Paul Allen, who was a strong advocate for environmental protection,” tweeted DiCaprio. “His legacy lives on via his incredible work as a philanthropist and investor.”
In 1995, Allen loaned money to Jimi Hendrix’s family to retain the rights for his image and music. Allen acknowledged in 2013 that listening to “Are You Experienced” by the Jimi Hendrix Experience encouraged him to learn how to play the guitar. Out of love for music, Allen funded the $100 million Museum of Pop Culture.
Over the last several years, Allen set up a $100 million fund to fight the Ebola virus and a $30 million fund to help the homeless in Seattle. And in the last few years, Allen worked with a number of explorers to find the wreckage of ships. Earlier this year, his team found the wreckage from the World War II cruiser known as the USS Juneau — which was hit by a Japanese torpedo.
“My brother was a remarkable individual on every level,” Jody Allen, the sister of Paul Allen, said in a statement. “He was a much loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend.”