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Paul Allen, Who Changed The World With Microsoft And Bill Gates, Dies Fighting Cancer At 65

 

 

 

Paul Allen, one of the two co-founders of Microsoft alongside Bill Gates in 1981, who literally changed the world with PC software, has died at the age of 65.

According to a family statement, Paul Allen died from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer which was undergoing treatment for -- after an earlier brush with the disease back in 2009 as well.

Ask anyone who started Microsoft and the answer is almost always Bill Gates. But very few people know that Paul Allen, who studied and grew up with Bill Gates, was the driving force behind Microsoft -- he was the one who persuaded Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard and start Microsoft in 1975. And the rest, as they say, is history.

According to a Reuters report, Paul Allen was in charge of Microsoft's technical operations for the first eight years of the company, making him instrumental to the early development of software such as MS-DOS and MS Word that kickstarted the PC revolution and made Microsoft the biggest tech company in the world.

At Microsoft's 40th anniversary in 2015, Paul Allen posted some of the earliest code used in the company's first software product on Twitter. The code began with a "Copyright 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen" legal disclaimer.

"It's weird to look at bits of code you wrote 40 years ago and think, 'That led to where Microsoft is today,'" Paul Allen said at the time, sounding genuinely amazed, as per an obituary in the New York Times.

On Paul Allen's death, Bill Gates said, "I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends." Others from the tech world and beyond remember and paid tribute to Paul Allen as news of his death broke early this morning.

Apart from co-founding Microsoft, which saw his personal value peak at $30 billion in 1999, Paul Allen had several other interests. He was a champion of sports, owning two professional sports teams in America -- the NFL Seattle Seahawks and NBA Portland Trailblazers. He was an accomplished guitarist, owning several legendary guitars, including one from Jimi Hendrix -- he counted Bono and Mick Jagger among his friends.

Paul Allen was also a big philanthropist, having donated more than $1 billion to mostly local philanthropic projects in the state of Washington. He developed Seattle’s South Lake Union tech hub that Amazon.com moved into, after it started, and he also setup the headquarters of his Allen Institute for Brain Science in the same area

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