Best known as the owner of the Seattle Seahawks and co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen died on Oct. 15. He was 65 years old.
Just two weeks ago, Allen announced that the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that he was treated for in 2009 had returned.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella called Allen’s contributions to the company, community, and industry “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 wrote on Twitter.
Childhood friend Bill Gates said he was heartbroken about the loss of one of his “oldest and dearest friends.”
“Personal computing would not have existed without him,” Gates said in a statement. “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.
Gates and Allen became billionaires when Microsoft was thrust onto the throne of technology.
With his sister Jody Allen in 1986, Paul Allen founded Vulcan, the investment firm that oversees his business and philanthropic efforts.
Allen built what is now Vulcan’s corporate headquarters in the International District (ID) on the northwest corner of South Jackson Street and Fifth Avenue South. Then he lobbied heavily to get the city to replace the Kingdome next door and build a state of the art outdoor stadium.
Despite initial protests from ID businesses and community members about the football stadium, it has increased the visibility of the ID. Parking spots are swiped by fans attending the Seahawks’ home games, but Allen gave us a Super Bowl.
Vulcan has provided funding to many Asian nonprofit organizations and Allen donated Seahawks merchandise for auctions.
In April 2017, Allen pledged $30 million toward a permanent housing facility for as many as 100 low-income and homeless families in Seattle. Vulcan was also tapped to be the Seattle Housing Authority’s partner on the $300 million redevelopment of the Yesler Terrace public-housing complex into a mixed-income community.
Mayor Jenny Durkan called him a “true son of Seattle.”
“Just like his parents, Paul brought a curiosity and love of knowledge to as many people and as many fields as he could. And whether it was at MoPOP or with the 12’s at CenturyLink or through Upstream and so much more, Paul always took the time to make sure we had a lot of fun along the way,” Durkan said in a statement.
Beyond Microsoft and Vulcan, Allen founded the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the aerospace firm Stratolaunch, which has built a colossal airplane designed to launch satellites into orbit. He has also backed research into nuclear-fusion power.
Allen was on the list of America’s wealthiest people who pledged to give away the bulk of their fortunes to charity. “Those fortunate to achieve great wealth should put it to work for the good of humanity,” he said.
Humanity, and Seattle, are thankful for such a gift as Paul Allen.
He made our world a better, more vibrant place.