Paul Allen

From ArticleWorld

Paul Gardner Allen is the co-founder of software giant Microsoft, along with Bill Gates. Born on January 21 1953, Allen is considered to be one of the wealthiest men in the world with an estimated net worth of $21 billion. Forbes magazine ranks him as the 7th richest man, an achievement made possible by the phenomenal success of Microsoft.


Paul Allen was born into a successful educated family, in Seattle, Washington. Whilst attending the prestigious Lakeside private school he struck up a friendship with a boy two years his junior called Bill Gates. Together they enjoyed a common interest in computers and before too long they monopolised the one minicomputer the school had. Allen attended Washington State University after graduation, but dropped out after two years to pursue his dream of being a computer software engineer for the new ‘personal computers.’ Allen also convinced Gates to do the same, quitting his course at Harvard to found a company that would become synonymous with computers, Microsoft.


Microsoft began life in the inauspicious surroundings of Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1975, as a fledgling company they began to produce and sell a BASIC interpreter. In 1980 Allen proposed purchasing a system called QDOS, they did so for $59,000 and were soon winning contracts with companies like IBM to install it as the primary operating system. The company experienced phenomenal growth, but in 1983 Allen was forced to resign after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. He was successfully treated for the disease and continued to have some participation in the company up until 2000 when he resigned from his position on the board. Allen still holds a large amount of Microsoft shares with an estimated value of $5 billion to this day.

Outside Interests

Outside the world of Microsoft Allen’s business savvy and philanthropy have continued. He is currently the chairman of Charter Communications and is the principle shareholder in animation giant Dreamworks SKG. Allen has also followed his passion for sports by purchasing two major teams, the Seattle Seahawks from the NFL and Portland Trailblazers of the NBA. He has also used his financial clout to finance projects close to his heart. Contributing to a library for $18 million and a Centre for Visual arts for $5million to the University of Washington, as well as numerous other projects all funded from his own fortune. Allen has invested in diverse projects from urban renewal developments to commercial spacecraft in the form of the SpaceShipOne project.