Paul Allen, Microsoft Corporation co-founder has died aged 65, his family announced on Tuesday.
He and Bill Gates founded what became the world’s biggest software company. According to reports, Paul Allen was the one who persuaded his school friend, Bill Gates, to drop out of Harvard and start Microsoft.
However, he resigned from Microsoft in 1983 following a dispute with his partner Gates, before the company became the giant it is today. But his share of the original partnership still provided him with enough luxury for the rest of his life enabling him to afford spending billions of dollars on arts, Yachts, rock music, real estate, brain research and sports teams. According to Forbes, his wealth peaked at 30 billion dollars in 1999 and in October 2018 he was said to be the 44th richest person in the world with an estimated wealth of 21 million dollars.
He died as a result of complications from a type of cancer called non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which he was previously treated for in 2009.
Paul Allen was a music lover and had lots of high profile friends in the entertainment business, including U2 singer Bon.
He was also involved in lots of philanthropy, some of which was directing more than one billion dollars to such projects in the Pacific Northwest region.
Paul was also instrumental to developing Seattle’s South lake Union tech hub that houses Amazon.com and also built the headquarters of his Allen Institute for Brain Science there.
His former partner, Bill Gates, described Allen as following the Microsoft partnership with a “second act” focused on strengthening communities. In a statement he said “I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends.”
Paul Allen was born on Jan 21, 1953 in Seattle to a Librarian father and a mother who was a teacher. He met Bill Gates in 1968 at a computer room at the exclusive lakeside School in Seattle, where they both discovered their shared passion for computers.
“In those days we were just goofing around, or so we thought,” Gates recalled in his 1985 book “The Road Ahead.”
Allen dropped out of Washington State University in 1974 to take a job with Honeywell in Boston and also succeeded in Pestering Gates to quit his study at Harvard and join the revolution in Personal computing.
In 1975, Gates finally succumbed and together the jointly developed BASIC software for Altair 8800, a clunky desktop computing costing 400 dollars in kit form.
Paul Allen was the one who came up with the name Micro-soft, an amalgam of microcomputer and software, with the hyphen later dropped. He was also in charge of the company’s technical operations for the first eight years, making him one of the few people who created early software MS-DOS and Word that enabled the PC revolution.