Paul Allen

Business Personality / Inventor

Born: 21 January 1953
Birthplace: Mercer Island, Washington
Best known as: The co-founder (with Bill Gates) of Microsoft

Paul Allen co-founded the company Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975. Microsoft grew into one of the great success stories of the personal computer era and one of the world's largest companies. Allen left the company in 1983 after a bout with Hodgkin's disease, but he remained a member of Microsoft's board of directors until 2000, and his company stock has made him a billionaire many times over. On his own he made a name for himself as a founder of and shrewd investor in hi-tech firms like Starwave, America Online and Ticketmaster, and as the enthusiastic owner of the NBA's Portland Trailblazers and the NFL's Seattle Seahawks. (He claimed his first championship as an owner when the Seahawks won Super Bowl 48 on February 2, 2014.) Paul Allen published an autobiography in 2011, titled Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft.

Extra credit:

Paul Allen has never been married. He told the CBS show 60 Minutes in 2011 that he "I still believe I'm going to meet somebody... I want to have a family... He has bankrolled a Seattle museum, the Experience Music Project, inspired by late guitarist Jimi Hendrix... He is the owner of the Octopus, a super-yacht built for him and delivered in 2003. The yacht is 414 feet long and "has seven decks, two helicopter pads, a swimming pool and a basketball court," according to a 2012 Associated Press story.

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