Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft and philanthropic force behind documentary production company Vulcan Productions, has passed away at the age of 65.
Allen died from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Seattle, according to Vulcan inc., the investment firm he established with sister Jody Allen to handle his business and philanthropic endeavors.
He co-founded Microsoft with friend Bill Gates in 1975 and served as its original technologist, before leaving the company eight years later, after first being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease.
Allen had announced earlier in October that after being treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009, the disease had returned.
After leaving Microsoft, Allen and sister Jody established Vulcan Inc., and the tech pioneer devoted himself to myriad philanthropic causes and a wide range of interests, including socially conscious documentary film. As founder and chairman of Vulcan Productions, Allen was behind such projects as The Ivory Game, Body Team 12, Racing Extinction, and Ghost Fleet, which recently held its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Said to have given away more than US$2 billion over the course of his life, Allen also channelled his wealth towards other passions such as sports – he owned the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks – and brain research.
“My brother was a remarkable individual on every level,” said Jody Allen in a statement. “While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend.
“Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern,” she added. “For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends. At this time of loss and grief for us – and so many others – we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day.”