Notable technologist, philanthropist and Seattle native Paul G. Allen died this past Monday. His investment firm, Vulcan, which he founded in the mid-1980s, released a statement announcing his death yesterday.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our founder Paul G. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and noted technologist, philanthropist, community builder, conservationist, musician and supporter of the arts,” said the statement. “Mr. Allen died on Monday afternoon, October 15, 2018, from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Seattle. Mr. Allen was 65 years old.”
Allen had received treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009. He had announced earlier this month (October 1) that his cancer had returned.
In 1975, Allen co-founded Microsoft with his high-school friend Bill Gates. Until 1983, he acted as the company’s executive vice-president of research and new product development. He eventually abandoned these posts for health reasons but remained as a major shareholder and member of the board.
“I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Paul Allen,” said Bill Gates in a statement on Monday.
Read more: Obituary of a Mathematician
It was Allen who came up with the name Microsoft. He also wrote in his memoir Idea Man, that writing a software program for the world’s first microcomputer (the forerunner to the modern home or personal computer) was his idea.
“Paul Allen’s contributions to our company, our industry and to our community are indispensable,” said Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai added, “We lost a great technology pioneer today – thank you Paul Allen for your immense contributions to the world through your work and your philanthropy.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted, “Our industry has lost a pioneer and our world has lost a force for good. We send our deepest condolences to Paul’s friends, the Allen family and everyone at Microsoft.”
Over the course of several years, Allen gave over $2 billion to a range of interests, including ocean health, homelessness, and scientific research. He also released two rock albums, one in 2000 and another in 2013.
Speaking on his role in Microsoft in 2011 he told The Guardian, “During the founding first eight years my ideas were definitely key to the company. Bill would test my ideas. I would come to him with another 10 ideas that never went anywhere – he was the sanity check on the flow of ideas.”