30 Little Known Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Paul Allen


Paul Allen, was not just the co-founder of Microsoft along with Bill Gates, but also the founder and Chairman of Vulcan Inc., along with his sister Jody Allen. He was also the founding member of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Institute for Cell Science, Stratolaunch Systems, and Apex Learning. Here are some very interesting facts about the American business magnet:

  1.  He was born Paul Gardner Allen, on January 21, 1953, in Seattle, Washington, U.S., to Edna Faye and Kenneth Sam Allen, who was a associate director of the University of Washington library system. He has one sibling, a younger sister Jody Allen.
  2.  In 1989, Allen donated $2 million to the University of Washington to construct the Allen library named after his father Kenneth S. Allen. In 2002, he further donated $ 14 million to construct the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering.
  3.  Allen has never been married and for many years he has been named Seattle’s most eligible bachelor. His marriage plans, with his first girlfriend Rita, never materialized and later he dated Monica Seles, Jerry Hall and Leigh Colliera.
  4.  He attended Lakeside School, a private school in Seattle. After graduating and obtaining a perfect SAT score of 1600, he joined Washington State University. However he dropped out after two years and joined Honeywell in Boston as a computer programmer.
  5.  In 1975, he and Bill Gates secured a contract with American electronic company ‘Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry System’ to adapt BASIC for use on the Altair computer.Allen moved to ‘MITS’s headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as its Vice President and Software Director.
  6.  In the same year Allen and Gates formed ‘Micro-Soft’ the company that would become Microsoft Corporation. A year later in 1976, Allen joined Microsoft full-time and secured a license for the DOS operating system. In 1981, he brokered the rights to provide the software-renamed ‘MS-DOS’ for ‘IBM’ personal computers, placing Microsoft at the forefront of the decade’s ‘PC boom’ which led to its success.
  7.  In 1982, he was diagnosed with Stage 1-A Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was successfully treated but in 2009 he was once again diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which ultimately caused his death by septic shock on October 15, 2018.
  8.  On November 03, 2018, as a tribute to Allen, buildings in the Seattle area were lit in blue light that weekend, one of his favorite colors. Several landmark building including the Columbia Tower, Space Needle, PEMCO building, Great Wheel, T-Mobile, CenturyLink Field and the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering were bathed in blue at dusk.
  9.  In 1986 Allen cofounded, with his sister Jody Allen Patton, the personal holding company ‘Vulcan Ventures Inc. The firm has invested billions in technology, telecommunications and entertainment companies, including Egghead Inc., Asymetrix Corp., Starwave Corp. and Virtual Vision Inc.
  10.  In 2010, Allen sued a dozen technology companies including AOL, Apple Inc., eBay, Facebook, Google Inc., Netflix Inc., Yahoo! Inc., and YouTube, for allegedly violating patents he had financed a decade earlier. The law suit was dismissed by the federal court and rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.
  11.  Allen backed A.R.O., the startup behind the mobile app ‘Saga,’ an ambient companion that watches what you do to make personal recommendations. He also invested $ 3.5 million in 2012 on the iPad app ‘SportStream,’ a user interface, play-by-play updates and sortable feeds of tweets from friends, fans, athletes and media.
  12.  A new iPad app called ‘Fayve,’ a digital tool that help people discover movies, music and television show, was launched in November 2012. This was Allen’s personal media browsing tool was later made available for rest of us.
  13.  In 1998, he bought a controlling interest in digital cable television service ‘Charter Communications,’ for $4.5 billion, which turned out to be biggest disaster among Allen’s post-Microsoft adventures. The Charter filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and subsequently the company merged with ‘Time Warner Cable’ in 2016.
  14.  Allen was the sole investor behind Burt Rutan’s ‘SpaceShipOne’ the suborbital commercial spacecraft. The craft was developed and flown by Mojave Aerospace Ventures, which was a joint venture between Allen and Rutan’s aviation company, Scaled Composites. It won the Ansari X Prize competition and received the $10 million prize money.
  15.  Allen’s Vulcan Real Estate, has developed 6.3 million square feet of new residential, office, retail, and biotechnology research space in the South Lake Union neighborhood immediately north of downtown Seattle. The has entirely rented 11-building complex and has also agreed to buy a 1.8 million of square foot of complex developed by Vulcan for $1.16 billion.
  16.  He received his first electric guitar at the age of sixteen and was inspired by Jimi Hendrix. In 2000 he opened the ‘Experience Music Project,’ a rock and roll museum dedicated to Jimi Hendrix and in 2013, he released an album ‘Everywhere at Once’ with the ‘Underthinkers’ band.
  17.  In 1998, Allen purchased the ‘Portland Trail Blazers’ NBA team for $ 70 million and later he purchased the ‘Moda Center’ arena where the Blazers are housed.The Blazers reached the playoffs 19 times including the NBA Finals in 1990 and 92.
  18.  Allen is also the owner of another sports team the Seattle Seahawks NFL team which he purchased in 1996, when the former owner threatened to move it out of Seattle. Under the helm of Allen, the team with one of the most fanatical fan base has made it to Super Bowl thrice. He is also part owner of the Seattle Sounders FC soccer team.
  19.  He bought his favorite movie theatre ‘Cinerama,’ when it was going to be demolished in 1998 and upgraded it with 3-D capability and digital sound. The theater installed the world’s first commercial digital laser projector in 2014.
  20.  He and his sister, Jody Allen together were the owners and exclusive producer of ‘Vulcan Productions,’ a television and film production company headquartered in Seattle. In 2013, the production house produced the film ‘Girl Rising’ which had viewership of over 205 million during the CNN and CNN international premiers.
  21.  The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation was founded with Jody Allen to administer a portion of his philanthropic contribution. Since its formation it has given more than $494 million to over 1,500 nonprofit organizations. He is also a signatory of ‘The Giving Pledge.’
  22.  In September 2003, Allen launched the ‘Allen Institute for Brain Science’ with a $ 100 million contribution dedicated to understand how the human brain works. The institute makes research tools available to the scientific community and some of the notable projects are Allen Mouse Brain Atlas, Allen Human Brain Atlas and the Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas.
  23.  AI2, the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence was founded in 2014 for the purpose of conducting high-impact research and engineering in the field of artificial intelligence. The institute is led by Dr. Oren Etzioni and employs over 80 of the world best scientific talent in the field.
  24.  For the conservation or environmental protection Allen provided more than $7 million to fund a census of elephant population in Africa. The survey result published in 2015, showed rapid rate of decline. He also supports the University of British Columbia’s Sea Around Us project in 2014 to improve data on global fisheries and to fight illegal fishing.
  25.  In 2014, Allen pledged at least $ 100 million towards the fight to end the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa and created a website called ‘’ In October 2015, his foundation announced a new grant of $ 11 million to prevent further spread of Ebola virus.
  26.  His research team and the Royal Navy, after several attempt recovered the bell from HMS Hood in August 2015, in very good condition. The bell was restored to be put on display, bears an inscription in memory of Rear-Admiral Sir Horace Hood, who died in the battle of Jutland in World War One and in remembrance of 1,415 crewmen lost.
  27.  An active art collector, Allen established non-profit community institution like ‘Museum of Pop Culture,’ and ‘Flying Heritage Collection,’ which showcases restored vintage military aircraft and armaments from world war era. He also established ‘Living Computer: Museum cum Labs and has gifted more than $ 100 million to support the arts.
  28.  Allen own a 414 foot yacht, ‘Octopus,’ launched in 2003, which is equipped with two helicopter, a submarine, an ROV, a swimming pool, a music studio and a basketball court. His yacht is a member of ‘AMVER,’ a voluntary group ship reporting system and was used in the search of a missing American pilot and two Palau police officers in 2012.
  29.  In 2011, Allen’s memoir ‘Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft,’is the New York Times bestselling memoir was published by Penguin Group. The book is the true story of ambition and ideas made real.
  30.  Allen received numerous awards in many different areas, including sports, philanthropy and arts was listed by the ‘Times’ as among ‘100 Most Influential People in the World,’ for the year 2007 and 2008.He also received Honorary degree from Washington State University and Honorary doctorate in Philosophy from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
  31.  Paul Allen Net Worth: $20.3 Billion

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