Paul Allen, Microsoft Co-Founder, Dead at 65

By Alex Cranz on at

Paul Allen, the man who co-created Microsoft with Bill Gates, one of the largest and most impactful technology companies in history, has passed away. He was 65.

Allen had been ill with non-Hopkins lymphoma since 2009. After successful treatments of the disease, it returned earlier this year and, according to a statement released by Vulcan Inc. today, it is the cause of his passing.

Vulan Inc. was one of Allen’s most recent ventures—a parent corporation that served as an umbrella for his holdings including his ownership in the American football team the Seattle Seahawks, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, and the Flying Heritage Collection.

For the past 36 years, Allen invested in some of the largest (and often most maligned) technology companies—including a significant stake in Ticketmaster and Charter.

While the past nearly four decades as a high-profile investor, Allen is best known as the co-founder of Microsoft, developing the company alongside Gates, a high school buddy. It was Allen who famously convinced Gates to drop out of Harvard and pursue a career in technology. While Allen left the company in 1982, he served on the board until 2000.

Following news of Allen’s death, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella described in a statement his contributions as “indispensable.”

“Paul Allen’s contributions to our company, our industry and to our community are indispensable. 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,” Nadella said. “I have learned so much from him—his inquisitiveness, curiosity and push for high standards is something that will continue to inspire me and all of us at Microsoft.”