Paul Allen dies of cancer at age 65
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies of cancer at age 65
Bill Gates has said he is “heartbroken” by the death of his childhood friend and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen.
Allen, who also owned the NFL Seattle Seahawks and the NBA Portland Trail Blazers, died on Monday afternoon after a battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his family confirmed to Business Insider. He was 65.
Gates said Allen helped change the world with the creation of the personal computer. He added that his life was marked by a “second act” in which he attempted to improve the lives of people in Seattle, where he was from, and others around the globe.
Allen had announced earlier this month that the disease, which he had been treated for in 2009, had returned.
Allen’s sister, Jody Allen, wrote in a statement: “My brother was a remarkable individual on every level. While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend.”
Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with his childhood friend Bill Gates, had owned the Seahawks since 1997 and the Blazers since 1988. He’s also the co-owner of the MLS’ Seattle Sounders FC.
Allen’s ownership of the Seahawks coincided with the most successful years in franchise history. It has included 12 trips to the playoffs, three Super Bowl appearances and a victory in Super Bowl XLVIII over the Denver Broncos. When Allen purchased the team, it had only reached the playoffs four times since its inception in 1976.
Allen’s purchase of the Seahawks from previous owner Ken Behring saved the team from what had seemed like a near-certain relocation. Behring had announced in 1996 that he was moving the Seahawks to Southern California. Allen agreed to purchase an option for the team that would be triggered only if Washington voters passed a 1997 referendum to foot the majority of the bill for what would become CenturyLink Field.
“Paul Allen was the driving force behind keeping the NFL in the Pacific Northwest,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
“His vision led to the construction of CenturyLink Field and the building of a team that played in three Super Bowls, winning the championship in Super Bowl XLVIII,” he said in the statement. “The raising of the “12th Man” flag at the start of every Seahawks home game was Paul’s tribute to the extraordinary fan base in the Seattle community. His passion for the game, combined with his quiet determination, led to a model organization on and off the field. He worked tirelessly alongside our medical advisers to identify new ways to make the game safer and protect our players from unnecessary risk. I personally valued Paul’s advice on subjects ranging from collective bargaining to bringing technology to our game. Our league is better for Paul Allen having been a part of it and the entire NFL sends its deepest condolences to Paul’s family and to the Seahawks organization.”
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was among several current and former Seahawks who tweeted their condolences and shared fond memories of Allen on Monday, as did Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, who helped lead Seattle to its lone Super Bowl victory in 2014.
Deeply saddened by the passing of @PaulGAllen. I’ll miss him greatly. His gracious leadership and tremendous inspiration will never be forgotten.
The world is a better place because of Paul’s passion, commitment, and selflessness. His legacy will live on forever.
“Paul Allen was the ultimate trail blazer — in business, philanthropy and in sports,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “As one of the longest-tenured owners in the NBA, Paul brought a sense of discovery and vision to every league matter large and small. He was generous with his time on committee work, and his expertise helped lay the foundation for the league’s growth internationally and our embrace of new technologies. He was a valued voice who challenged assumptions and conventional wisdom and one we will deeply miss as we start a new season without him. Our condolences go to his family, friends and the entire Trail Blazers organization.”
In 1988 at the age of 35, Allen bought the Trail Blazers. He told The Associated Press that “for a true fan of the game, this is a dream come true.”
Allen could sometimes be seen at Seahawks, Blazers and Sounders games or chatting in the locker room with players.