The billionaire and co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen died yesterday at the age of 65. He was one of the two minds who started the computer revolution with his childhood friend Bill Gates and built Microsoft.
Allen’s own company Vulcan released a statement to confirm his death. According to Vulcan, Allen died on Monday. He was diagnosed and treated for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2009. Cancer returned earlier this month and was incurable this term.
Paul Allen was an avid sports fan He was also the owner of the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Bill Gates and Paul Allen were high school friends and they founded Microsoft together in 1975. Until 1983, Allen served as Microsoft’s executive vice-president of research and new product development. In 1983, Allen left the position due to health issues, but was a major shareholder in the company and was one of the board members.
It Was Heartbreaking
“I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Paul Allen,” Bill Gates said in a statement on Monday.
Despite being out of as much limelight as Bill Gates, Paul Allen played a very important part in developing a PC. Typical computers were the size of a room until Allen along with Bill Gates brought it to every business and office.
Allen gave the name Microsoft to one of the biggest tech companies of all-time according to the memoir Idea Man.
He was the first one who came with the idea of code a software program for world’s first microcomputer.
In an interview to the Guardian in 2011, Allen talked about Bill and his initial days together.
“During the founding first eight years, my ideas were definitely key to the company. Bill would test my ideas. I would come to him with another 10 ideas that never went anywhere – he was the sanity check on the flow of ideas,” Allen told the Guardian in 2011. “When it came to selling and marketing and staffing and all those kinds of things, he was much more excited on the business side, so we became very complementary.”
In 1980, IBM decided to move into personal computers and then came Microsoft’s big break when IBM asked Microsoft for operating systems in their PCs.
That was the time when Microsoft sat on the throne of technology and two guys from Seattle became billionaires.
How The World Reacted
“Paul Allen’s contributions to our company, our industry and to our community are indispensable,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “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.”
Sundar Pichai, Google CEO added: “We lost a great technology pioneer today – thank you, Paul Allen, for your immense contributions to the world through your work and your philanthropy.”
“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,” said Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai.
Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO said that Allen was a “great leader in tech and a man of all seasons who fully enjoyed his life and wealth yet also gave back to the world at scale”.
A Dedicated Philanthropist
Over the years, Allen donated more than $2 billion to distinctive interests such as homelessness, ocean health, and futuristic scientific research.
He also invested an ample amount of his income on his hometown Seattle to transform the neighborhood around South Lake Union into a growing business space.
Allen invested heavily in his hometown of Seattle, helping to transform the South Lake Union neighborhood into a thriving business region. May his pure soul rests in peace.