Paul was born in 1954 in Seattle, Washington, Paul Allen met fellow Lakeside School student and computer enthusiast Bill Gates when Allen was 14 and Gates was 12. Less than a decadelater, in 1975, college drop-outs Allen and Gates founded Microsoft. Allen resigned after being diagnosed with Hodgkins disease in 1983, and today continues to pursue other business, research, and philanthropic opportunities.
They began marketing a BASIC programming language interpreter.Allen came up with the original nameof "Micro-Soft," as recounted in a 1995 Fortune magazine article. In 1980,after promising to deliver IBM a DiskOperating System (DOS) they had notyet developed for the Intel 8088-basedIBM 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 ofthis transaction, Microsoft was able to secure a contract to supply the DOS that would eventually run on IBMs PC line. This contract with IBM was the watershed in Microsoft history that led to Allen and Gates wealth
Allen was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma in 1982. His cancer was successfully treated byseveral months of radiation therapy. However, he did not return to Microsoft and began distancing himself from the company.Allen officiallyresigned from his position on the Microsoft board in November 2000 but was asked to consult as a senior strategy advisor to the companysexecutives.He sold 68 million shares of Microsoft stock that year,but still owns a reported 138 million shares.
His investments were diverse: America Online, SureFind (an online classified ads service), Teluscan (an online financial service), Starwave(an online content provider), hardware, software,and wireless communications. From 1994 to 1998, Allen built an infrastructure of well over 30 different companies in pursuit of his "wiredworld" strategy. With Vulcans 1998 purchases of Marcus Cable and more than 90% of CharterCommunications, Allen became the owner of the nations seventh largest cable company. In 1999, he invested nearly $2 billion in the RCN corporation, bringing his total holdings in the cable and Internet businesses to over $25 billion.
Other personal and Philanthropic interests include sports(he owns the NBAs Portland Trailblazers and the NFLs Seattle Seahawks) and music. On June 23, 2000, his Experience MusicProject (EMP), a $250 million interactive rock &roll museum designed by the architect Frank O. Gehry, will open in Seattle. Allen co-foundedEMP with his sister, Jody Allen Patton, who will serve as the museums executive director.
In April 2003, he announced he would be spending $20 million to build the Science Fiction Experience, which will open summer 2004. The museum is billed as "entertaining and thought-provoking exhibits and programs." Allen has also established philanthropic foundations for thecauses of medical research, visual and performing arts, community service, and forest preservation.
In 2007 and 2008, Time named Paul Allen, the cofounder of Microsoft, one of the hundred mostinfluential people in the world. Since he made his fortune, his impact has been felt in science, technology, business, medicine, sports, music, and philanthropy. His passion, curiosity, and intellectual rigor-combined with the resources to launch and support new initiatives-have literally changed the world.