Paul Allen was an American business tycoon, investor and philanthropist. He 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. He was the owner of National Football League franchise, Seattle Seahawks; National Basketball Association’s Portland Blazers and as well, a co-owner of Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders FC.
Here is everything you should know about Paul Allen, his girlfriend, wife, daughter, house, and sexual orientation.
Microsoft and the Journey to His Wealth
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. Paul and Bill, despite their 3-year age difference, were bound by their passion for computers. While Allen proceeded to study Computer science at Washington State University, Bill settled for 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 manufactured by MITS computer. The duo relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico, the headquarters of MITS and Paul took a job at the company as the director of software development.
With a revenue of $16,000, Paul and Bill established Micro-soft in 1975. 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.
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 Wife, Girlfriend and Daughter
Paul Allen was unmarried, but the likes of Monica Seles, Jerry Hall, and Leigh Collier were women who had notably held the highest title as his girlfriends at one time or the other. At one point, Leigh Collier had gone ahead to be associated with the title of Allen’s wife as the two started dating since 2011 and were said to be getting married before his death.
Paul Allen of Microsoft was not known to have any children of his own whether biological or adopted.
Vulcan Inc Wealth
Vulcan Inc was 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. It sold over $1 billion worth of office space to Amazon.
Vulcan Capital is the multibillion-dollar investment arm of the company. Allen had through it made lucrative investments in both public and private companies including; Alibaba, DreamWorks, Charter Communications and more.
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 Seattle Seahawks former owner threatened to move the team to southern California, local politicians encouraged Allen to buy the team. Allen bought the team in 1997 for $288 million and today, it is valued at over $2.2 billion. He had minority stakes in Seattle Sounders, the most valuable franchise in the MLS worth $285 million.
See Also: 10 Richest NFL Team Owners
Allen was 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 was pursuing other aerospace interests under his Stratolaunch Systems before he died in October 2018.
More to that, the man owned 3 Museums including Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, Wash where he collected WWII planes, Living Computer Museum which holds vintage computers and Experiences Music Project where he collected contemporary pop culture artifacts.
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.
His mum’s death to Alzheimer’s disease and his survival of two cases of cancer made him particularly interested in medical research. Allen donated over $500 million to his Allen Institute for Brain Science, which studies the brain’s connections with health and disease.
Additionally, Allen donated over $2 billion towards advancement in technology, wildlife/environment conservation, science, education, community service, and arts. Being a signatory of The Giving Pledge, the billionaire who had never been married and had no children promised to donate at least, half of 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 is 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. The home was valued at over $18 million in 2013. He owned 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.
Paul 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. Collectively, they are valued at about $800 million.
In all, Paul Allen had a net worth of over $20.3 billion and, it is believed that he had given out more than $2.5 billion to his Allen Institute of Brain Science before his death. On the famous American business magazine’s rich-list, Paul Allen ranked the 13th richest person in the tech world and 43rd billionaire in the world at the time of his death.
Was Paul Allen Gay?
The subject of Allen’s sexual preference was one that had been questioned from many angles. For one thing, Allen was unmarried for years. As such, a reasonable number of people were quick to pass judgement on him, believing he’s gay. However, nobody could come out openly to assert it as there are no substantial facts to validate this assumption other than mere conjectures groomed by sentiment.
Allen on his own part had not given out any pointers to fuel such rumors or personally debunk them. But then, we all knew he was dating a woman who is feminine in every sense of it and the two were looking forward to getting married before his death. So, we can all comfortably admit that the billionaire’s sexual orientation was very much straight.
Paul Allen died on Monday, the 15th day of October 2018 after having complications from the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s disease. he was diagnosed with the cancer of the lymphatic system in 1983 and had since, managed his life with it. He died at the age of 65.