The Legacy of Paul Allen


Paul Allen

People around the world are paying tribute to Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, founder of Vulcan Inc., owner of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers and the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and noted philanthropist, after his death from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in October of 2018.

Allen had originally battled this cancer in 2009 and it returned shortly before his death. On October 1st, just two weeks before his passing, he shared this message on his personal website:

I’ve begun treatment & my doctors are optimistic that I will see a good result. Appreciate the support I’ve received & count on it as I fight this challenge.”

Courtesy of Vulcan Inc.

Vulcan Inc. also released a statement on behalf of Allen’s family and the Paul G. Allen network:

All of us who had the honor of working with Paul feel inexpressible loss today. He possessed a remarkable intellect and a passion to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems, with the conviction that creative thinking and new approaches could make profound and lasting impact.

Millions of people were touched by his generosity, his persistence in pursuit of a better world, and his drive to accomplish as much as he could with the time and resources at his disposal.

Paul’s life was diverse and lived with gusto. It reflected his myriad interests in technology, music and the arts, biosciences and artificial intelligence, conservation and in the power of shared experience – in a stadium or a neighborhood – to transform individual lives and whole communities.

Courtesy of Lakeside School

Allen co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, who released a statement describing himself as heartbroken, but thankful to have known Allen as a co-worker and as a friend:

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.”

Allen helped found Microsoft in 1975 when he was 22, leaving in 1982 because of an illness. Later, Allen  — worth around $20 billion — would focus on investing in other emerging technology and products, cultural ventures and sports franchises.

Courtesy of Vulcan Inc.

Allen had a particular devotion to the city of Seattle, his hometown. He was also fascinated by space travel, investing in SpaceShipOne, the first privately-funded ship to put a civilian into suborbital space around the Earth, and then founding Vulcan Aerospace in 2011, which is building space plane for private low Earth orbit launches.

He also donated $300 million to brain research and publicly stated that he hoped the connection between technology and the medical commiunity could help save lives.

Courtesy of Vulcan Inc.: Béatrice de Géa For the New York Times

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer that develops in a person’s white blood cells and lymph nodes, which are part of the immune system. Treatment for this cancer depends on the type, and which lymph nodes are affected.

Photos provided by Vulcan Inc.