Paul Allen life and biography

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Paul Allen biography

Date of birth : 1953-01-21
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Seattle, Washington
Nationality : American
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2010-10-07
Credited as : Businessman , co-founder of Microsoft company, has an IQ of 160

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Paul Gardner Allen (born January 21, 1953) is an American industrialist who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates and is one of the wealthiest people in the world with a personal wealth of US$12.7 billion as of 2010.

He is the founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc., which is his private asset management company, and is chairman of Charter Communications. Allen also has a multi-billion dollar investment portfolio which includes stakes in Digeo, Kiha Software, real estate holdings, and more than 40 other technology, media, and content companies. Allen also owns three professional sports teams: the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL), the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the Seattle Sounders FC franchise (which began playing in the 2009 season) in Major League Soccer (MLS).

Early years

Paul Gardner Allen was born in Seattle, Washington, to parents Kenneth S. Allen, an associate director of the University of Washington libraries, and Faye G. Allen, on January 21, 1953. Allen attended Lakeside School, a private school in Seattle, and befriended Bill Gates, who was two years his junior but shared a common enthusiasm for computers. They used Lakeside's teletype terminal to develop their programming skills on several time-sharing computer systems. After graduation Allen attended Washington State University but dropped out after two years in order to work as a programmer for Honeywell in Boston, placing him near his old friend again. Allen later convinced Gates to drop out of Harvard University in order to create Microsoft.


Allen co-founded Microsoft (initially "Micro-Soft") with Bill Gates in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1975, and began marketing a BASIC programming language interpreter. In 1980, after promising to deliver IBM a Disk Operating System (DOS) they had not yet developed for the Intel 8088-based IBM PC, Allen spearheaded a deal for Microsoft to purchase a Quick and Dirty Operating System (QDOS) written by Tim Paterson who, at the time, was employed at Seattle Computer Products. As a result of this transaction, Microsoft was able to secure a contract to supply the DOS that would eventually run on IBM's PC line. This contract with IBM was the watershed in Microsoft history that led to Allen and Gates's fabulous wealth.

Allen was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1983. His cancer was successfully treated by several months of radiation therapy and a bone marrow transplant. However, he did not return to Microsoft and began distancing himself from the company. Allen officially resigned from his position on the Microsoft board in November 2000 but was asked to consult as a senior strategy advisor to the company's executives. He sold 68 million shares of Microsoft stock that year, but still owns a reported 138 million shares.


In 2007 and 2008, Allen was listed among Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World.

On October 30, 2008, the Seattle-King County Association of Realtors honored Paul Allen for his “unwavering commitment to nonprofit organizations in the Pacific Northwest and lifetime giving approaching $1 billion.”

Paul Allen has received awards and honorary degrees from several universities. In May 1999, Washington State University bestowed its highest honor, the Regents' Distinguished Alumnus Award, upon Allen. He received a Docteur honoris causa from the Ecole Polytechnique D-Washington, and Seattle Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke spoke at the event honoring Allen.

On January 31, 2009, Paul Allen received a special merit award from the Oregon Sports Award program, recognizing his many contributions to Oregon's sports scene during his 20+-year ownership of the Portland Trail Blazers basketball franchise.


Paul Allen has made contributions to organizations related to health and human services, and toward the advancement of science and technology. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation was established in 1986 to administer most of his contributions. Through the Foundation, Allen awards approximately $30 million in grants annually. Roughly 60% of the Foundation's money goes to non-profit organizations in Seattle and the state of Washington, and 12% to Portland, Oregon. The remaining 28% is distributed to other cities within the Pacific Northwest. Allen has donated US$900 million of his money, as of 2007. Allen also contributes through other charitable projects known as "venture philanthropy". The most famous of these projects are the Experience Music Project, the Seattle Cinerama, the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, the Flying Heritage Collection (airworthy vintage military aircraft) and the Allen Telescope Array (ATA). The ATA is a partnership between the University of California, Berkeley and the SETI Institute. Allen has a flower fly named after him for his contributions to Dipterology, called Paul Allen's flower fly. Allen has also funded the purchase of many Jimi Hendrix artifacts, including the guitar Hendrix played at Woodstock, and ensured their public display in the Experience Music Project exhibits.

Although he attended Washington State University and has given money to its music school, Allen has donated more money to the University of Washington. In the late 1980s, Allen donated US$18 million to build a new library named after his father, Kenneth S. Allen. US$5 million was donated in 2003 to establish the Faye G. Allen Center for Visual Arts, named after his mother. Allen was also the top private contributor, with US$14 million in donations, and namesake, of the "Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering", which was designed by LMN Architects of Seattle and completed in 2003. Throughout the years, Allen has contributed millions of dollars to the University of Washington Medical School. The foundation awarded US$3.2 million for prostatitis research in 1997, followed by an additional $1.0 million grant in 2002. More recently, the foundation contributed $5.0 million for an early cancer-detection project at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Allen founded the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2003 with Jo Allen Patton (sister of Paul Allen) as a nonprofit corporation (501(c) (3)) and medical research organization. Utilizing the mouse model system (given its great similarity to human DNA), 20,000 genes in the adult mouse brain were mapped to a cellular level for the Allen Brain Atlas. The data generated from this effort is contained in the free and publicly available Allen Brain Atlas application located at In 2008, the Institute also launched the Allen Spinal Cord Atlas project. All of these scientific findings will prove invaluable to international researchers working on cures for neurological and nervous system illnesses and injuries.

On July 16, 2008, Allen launched a $ 41 million online "Allen Spinal Cord Atlas" mouse gene map. Allan Jones, chief scientific officer, said: "The Allen Spinal Cord Atlas offers profound potential for researchers to unlock the mysteries of the spinal cord and how it is altered during disease or injury." The spinal cord atlas is set up like the Allen Institute's earlier atlas of the mouse brain. The Map could reveal new treatments for human neurological disorders. The map points researchers toward places where genes are active

On November 19, 2008, Allen appeared at the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Hall of Fame to present the second annual Founder's Award for musical achievement. The award was presented to Robbie Robertson, a founding member of the seminal 1960s band The Band and a noted composer of film scores. Allen founded the museum in 2000. The award was presented as part of a gala benefit for EMP. The finale was a four-song set with all the evening's musicians on stage, including Allen and Robertson on guitar.

Paul Allen is also a founding member of The International SeaKeepers Society and hosts its proprietary SeaKeeper 1000TM oceanographic and atmospheric monitoring system on all three of his megayachts.

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