Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft died from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on Monday afternoon at 65 years old. At the time of his death, Allen was listed at number 44 on Forbes’ 2018 list of billionaires.
The engineer had an estimated net worth of more than $20 billion. Allen was the founder of Vulcan Inc a company that managed his private and personal wealth and interests.
Paul Allen was a generous benefactor in many industries particularly in areas where he had a personal passion. Allen was a sports fan who owned two professional sports teams, the NFL Seattle Seahawks and NBA Portland Trail Blazers.
He was also passionate about music and loved playing guitar. He initiated and funded the Experience Music Project in Seattle now called the Museum of Pop Culture, a museum dedicated to the history of rock music with a focus on one of Allen's favorite musicians Jimi Hendrix.
The building of the museum was designed by award-winning architect Frank Gehry in the form of a melted guitar. His other major interest was in the fate of warships sunk in critical battles during the war in the Pacific.
In the last few years, Allen has financially backed expeditions searching for the remains of both Japanese and American vessels. In 2015 the sunken Japanese warship Musashi was discovered off the coast of the Philippines, ending a long-running mystery about its exact location.
The discovery was the military equivalent of finding the Titanic according to observers. Allen had looked for the ship for more than 8 years with the hopes that finding its final resting place would bring peace to the families who lost loved ones in its final battle.
Allen revealed publicly that he had started a new treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, same cancer he had previously battle back in 2009. Bill Gates, who co-founded Microsoft with Allen, said that “personal computing would not have existed without him.”
In an extended statement, Gates went on to say: “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.”
The world reacted to Allen's death with sadness. Many celebrities and influential tech and business figures have expressed their sorrow via Twitter.
Very sad to hear of Paul Allen’s passing. His passion for invention and pushing forward inspired so many. He was relentless to the end. My heart goes out to Paul’s family and friends.— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) October 15, 2018
Statement from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on the passing of Paul Allen: pic.twitter.com/1iLDLenLKz— Microsoft (@Microsoft) October 15, 2018
RIP Paul Allen. Thank you for your immeasurable contributions to the community and beyond... Rock on. pic.twitter.com/0C33KqA47k— Pearl Jam (@PearlJam) October 16, 2018