Today, October 15, 2018, Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft passed away.
Born in 1953 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 decade later, in 1975, college drop-outs Allen and Gates founded Microsoft. Allen resigned after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in 1983, and continued to pursue other business, research, and philanthropic opportunities. According to Forbes, as of 2016, the self-made Microsoft entrepreneur was one of the wealthiest people in America with an estimated net worth of $19 billion. > Read Paul Allen’s Full Biography on Biography.com
Paul Allen Quick Facts
- Birth date: January 21, 1953
- Death date: October 15, 2018
- Birth place: Seattle, Washington
- Birth name: Paul Gardner Allen
- Father: Kenneth Allen, librarian
- Mother: Edna Faye (Gardner) Allen, teacher
- Education: Attended Washington State University, 1972-1974
The founding of Microsoft: Paul Allen and Bill Gates
In 1975, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Allen and Gates began marketing a BASIC programming language interpreter. Allen came up with the original name of “Micro-Soft,” according to a 1995 Fortune magazine article.
In 1980, after Microsoft had committed to deliver IBM a disk operating system (DOS) for the original IBM PC, although they had not yet developed one, Allen spearheaded a deal for Microsoft to purchase QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System), written by Tim Paterson, who, at the time, was employed at Seattle Computer Products. As a result of this transaction, Microsoft was able to secure a contract to supply the DOS that would eventually run on IBM’s PC line. This contract with IBM proved the watershed in Microsoft history that led to Allen’s and Gates’ wealth and success. Allen effectively left Microsoft in 1982 due to serious illness.
Bill Gates reportedly asked Allen to give him some of his shares to compensate for the higher amount of work being performed by Gates. Allen thought this was warranted; however, when the time came for the adjustment to occur, Gates decided not to proceed. In 1983, Gates tried to buy Allen out at a low price, however Allen refused and left the company with his shares intact. This proved critical to Allen becoming a billionaire after Microsoft went public.
Allen officially resigned from his position on the Microsoft board of directors on November 9, 2000. He remained as a senior strategy advisor to the company’s executives