Paul Allen Net Worth $20 billion: Paul Allen is an American business tycoon, investor and philanthropist. Paul Allen owes a substantial part of his $20 billion wealth to Microsoft of which he is the co-founder alongside his high school pal Bill Gates. Allen bolsters his Microsoft wealth with diversified investments made via his Vulcan Capital Inc. His fields of interest include sports, media, real estate and technology. Allen is the owner of Nation Football League franchise Seattle Seahawks, National Basketball Association’s Portland Blazers as well as co-ownership of Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders FC. Here is everything you should know about Paul Allen’s net worth.
Paul Allen Net Worth $20 billion: Microsoft Wealth, The Journey
Paul Gardner Allen was born on January 21, 1953, in Seattle, Washington. He attended Lakeside School, a private high school where he met and became good friends with Bill Gates. Despite the three-year age difference between the two, Paul and Bill were bound by their passion for computers. While Allen proceeded to study Computer science at Washington State University, Bill chose Harvard. Two years later Paul dropped out and convinced his buddy to do same so they could focus on producing a new line of software for the fledgeling personal computer industry.
Their decision was inspired by a publication on “Popular Electronics” which featured the new Altair microcomputer kit as manufactured by MITS computer. The duo relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico the headquarters of MITS while Paul took a job at the company as the director of software development.
Paul originally came up with the name Micro-soft and together with Bill, the company was established in 1975 with a revenue of $16,000. Fortunately, it didn’t take long before the duo found reasons to be thankful for their decisions. Two years later in 1977, Apple paid a license fee of $21,000 for Microsoft’s BASIC. Subsequently, their clients would include Zenith, Sirius, Sharp, Commodore and more. In 1978, Microsoft reached $1 million in revenue, 13 employees and a sale subsidiary in Japan.
By the early 1980s, Microsoft landed its big break: a deal with IBM to supply its personal computers with software. Without its own operating system, Allen led Microsoft’s purchase of QDOS for $75,000. QDOS was reinvented to MS-DOS which took the industry by storm. As Microsoft reserved the rights to sell the operating system to other PC makers, sales grew even more. By the end of 1981, Microsoft had over $16 million in revenue.
See Also: Steve Ballmer Net Worth
In 1983, Allen was hit by a life-threatening Hodgkin’s disease which forced him out of Microsoft. However, Allen remained on the boards and held on to his shares which made him a billionaire in 1987, a year after Microsoft launched its IPO. He was just 34 years old.
Paul Allen Net Worth: Vulcan Inc Wealth
Vulcan Inc is Allen’s private asset management company. Through it, Allen makes more money by investing his Microsoft share profits in diverse fields. He established Vulcan Inc in 1986, a year before he officially became a billionaire. The company’s mission is to “find solutions for some of the world’s toughest challenges.”
The real estate division of the company has developed over 6 million square feet of residential, office retail and biotechnology space. After Vulcan’s successful advocation for Seattle Streetcar, it sold over $1 billion worth of office space to Amazon, easily one of the most expensive office deals in the city.
Vulcan Capital is the multibillion-dollar investment arm of the company. Allen has through it made lucrative investments in both public and private companies including; Alibaba, DreamWorks, Charter Communications and more.
See Also: Carlos Slim Net Worth
Vulcan Sports and Entertainment oversees all of his sports-related investments. Allen first became a sports team owner in 1988 when he purchased NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers for $70 million. The team is now valued at over $1 billion making it one of NBA’s most valuable teams. When Seatle Seahawks former owner threatened to move the team to southern California, local politicians encouraged Allen to buy the team. Allen bought the team for $288 million and today, it is valued at over $2.2 billion. His Seattle Sounders worth $285 million is MLS’s most valuable team.
See Also: 10 Richest NFL Team Owners
Allen is also passionate about aviation thus his Vulcan Aerospace. He single-handedly funded SpaceShipOne, the first private aircraft to successfully put a civilian in suborbital space. It won the Ansari X Prize in 2004 receiving the $10 million prize money. Allen is pursuing other aerospace interest under his Stratolaunch Systems.
Paul Allen owns 3 Museums including Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, Wash. where he collects WWII planes, Living Computer Museum which holds vintage computers and Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (EMP) where he collects contemporary pop culture artefacts.
His entertainment venues include Seattle’s historic Cinerama Theater which he bought and refurbished after learning about its imminent demolition and the Hospital Club in London. His Vulcan Productions with his sister Jody Allen at the helm has produced numerous award-winning movies.
See Also: Elon Musk Net Worth
Paul Allen Net Worth: Philanthropy
His mum’s death to Alzheimer’s disease as well as his survival of two cancers has made him particularly interested in medical research. Allen has donated over $500 million to his Allen Institute for Brain Science, which studies the brain’s connections with health and disease.
Additionally, Allen has donated over $2 billion towards advancement in technology, wildlife/environment conservation, science, education, community service and arts. A signatory of The Giving Pledge, the billionaire who has never been married and has no children has promised to donate at least half his wealth to charitable causes.
Paul Allen Net Worth: Yacht, Houses
Paul Allen owns 3 of the world’s largest and most expensive yachts. The most expensive and best known of them named Octopus, comes equipped with two helicopters, a swimming pool, basketball court, 10-man submarine and a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV). The yacht has many times hosted celebrity-studded parties which often includes a performance by Allen and his rock band, the Underthinkers.
Paul Allen primarily lives in a 10,000 sq ft waterfront home in Mercer Island, Washington which in 2013 was valued at over $18 million. He owns 10 other properties on the island.
In 2010 he paid $25 million for a contemporary home in Carbon Beach, Malibu but because he didn’t like the constant disturbing sounds of the ocean, he sold it to CBS President Les Moonves for $29 million.
In 2013, he paid $27 million for a home in West Atherton, California, one of the most expensive zip codes in Silicon Valley.
He bought a 10-acre property in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii called Thurston Estate for $7.5 million. In 2011 he paid $25 million for a penthouse in an apartment building in Upper East Side Manhattan.
Abroad, Allen owns Villa Maryland in Côte d’Azur, St. Jean Cap-Ferrat, France (pictured) and a house in Holland Park, London.
His art collection includes works by Monet, Rodin, Rothko, Damien Hirst, and Alexander Calder and is collectively valued at about $800 million.