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Paul Allen (1953–2018), Microsoft co-founder

by Kirk Fox

Started Microsoft with his childhood friend Bill Gates

Paul Allen (1953 – 2018) co-founded Microsoft with his childhood friend Bill Gates. The duo started Microsoft in 1975. When IBM contracted Microsoft to provide the operating system for their personal computers in 1980, the company gained success.

Allen was a major sports fan, becoming the owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers. The Seahawks won their first Super Bowl in 2014.


He was an important philanthropist who donated billions of dollars for various causes including homelessness and environmental issues.

Allen loved rock music and was an accomplished guitarist who built a recording studio on his yacht and made an album with his band in 2013 that featured Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. His favorite musician was Jimi Hendrix, he opened the Experience Music Project in Seattle that featured his large collection of Hendrix memorabilia. Today it is known as the Museum of Pop Culture.

We invite you to share condolences for Paul Allen in our Guest Book.

Died: Monday, October 15, 2018 (Who else died on October 15?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 65 from cancer, according to Vulcan, Inc.

Is there someone you miss whose memory should be honored? Here are some ways.

Notable Quote:  “For the most part, the best opportunities now lie where your competitors have yet to establish themselves, not where they’re already entrenched. In my experience, each failure contains the seeds of your next success — if you are willing to learn from it. Any crusade requires optimism and the ambition to aim high.” —From yourstory.com

Statement from Bill Gates: “I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Paul Allen. 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.

“But Paul wasn’t content with starting one company. He channeled his intellect and compassion into a second act focused on improving people’s lives and strengthening communities in Seattle and around the world. He was fond of saying, ‘If it has the potential to do good, then we should do it.’ That’s the kind of person he was.

“Paul loved life and those around him, and we all cherished him in return. He deserved much more time, but his contributions to the world of technology and philanthropy will live on for generations to come. I will miss him tremendously.”

What others said about him: “RIP to my dear friend (& killer guitar player) Paul Allen. Your genius & generosity has & will forever be felt by mankind.” —Music producer Quincy Jones

Full obituary: New York Times

Birthdate: January 21, 1953 (Who else was born January 21?)

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