Paul Allen’s genius brought him immense wealth and secured his place in history

By Nina Steele 

Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975. He passed away on October 15, 2018, aged 65. He had no children. At the time of his death, his wealth was estimated to be around $20 billion. Although he left Microsoft in 1983, the fact that the company occupies such a prime place in the lives of a great number of people worldwide (estimates put that number at over a billion), as one of its co-founders, it’s fair to say that his place in history is secured.

I have to admit that, like most people, the first name that comes to my mind whenever I hear Microsoft, is Bill Gates. He is globally known. There are few people either dead or alive, who can claim such a feat, and Paul Allen was certainly not one of them. The fact that he left Microsoft all those years ago, may have something to do with that, of course.

Personally, I came to know about him through articles about his lavish lifestyle, which includes his yacht, octopus, one of the largest in the world. In terms of their private lives, the contrast with Bill Gates could not have been starker. Having said that, one thing both men had in common was their willingness to help make the world a better place, through philanthropy. Up until his death, Paul Allen had given over $2 billion to various causes.

After his death was announced, Bill Gates released a statement, which read: “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 statement goes on to say: “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”. Paull Allen is survived by his sister Jody Allen.

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