Paul G. Allen, the less well-known co-founder of Microsoft and who played a key part in the personal computing revolution died last week in Seattle, 65 years old.
Allen was responsible for naming the company Microsoft, as well as being the major driving force behind the company for the first 7 years of its existence.
He later went on to become a serial philanthropist, investor and sports owner.
Mr Allen died from complications associated with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He had previously fought the disease and had been in remission for several years. His death comes just two weeks after he publicly revealed he was undergoing treatment for a recurrence of the lymphoma.
Paul Allen and Bill Gates were were at the same high school together and later, Allen convinced Gates to drop out of Harvard University to form Microsoft. The company went on to become the world’s most valuable company during the 1990s due to succesive iterations of first MS_DOS, and later the Windows operating Systems and its Office products.
Allen’s sister, Jody, said he was “a remarkable individual on every level.”
“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 said in a statement. “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.”
Speaking of his friend on his personal blog, Bill Gates said that “Paul foresaw that computers would change the world. Even in high school, before any of us knew what a personal computer was, he was predicting that computer chips would get super-powerful and would eventually give rise to a whole new industry… That insight of his was the cornerstone of everything we did together…he showed me the cover of the January issue of Popular Electronics. It featured a new computer called the Altair 8800, which ran on a powerful new chip. Paul looked at me and said: “This is happening without us!” That moment marked the end of my college career and the beginning of our new company, Microsoft. It happened because of Paul…
“When I think about Paul, I remember a passionate man who held his family and friends dear. I also remember a brilliant technologist and philanthropist who wanted to accomplish great things, and did.”