Allen, Paul Gardner,
1953–, American business executive and philanthropist, b. Seattle. He dropped out of Washington State Univ. (1974) and with his friend Bill Gates
co-founded (1975) Microsoft Corp. He served as head of research and product development until 1983, when he was diagnosed with Hodgkins disease and left the company, though he remained on its board until 2000. In 1986 Allen founded Vulcan, Inc., an investment and project management firm. He also has founded institutes for brain science, cell science, and artificial intelligence, and, with Bert Rutan
, Stratolaunch Systems. Allen bought the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team in 1988, the Seattle Seahawks football team in 1997, and became a part-owner of the Seattle Sounders soccer team in 2007. His philanthropies include the Experience Music Project and the Flying Heritage Collection, both Seattle museums he founded.
See his memoir (2011); C. D. Tsang, Microsoft First Generation (1999); L. Rich, The Accidental Zillionaire (2002).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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