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Paul Allen Biography



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You have undoubtedly heard of Microsoft, but have you heard of Paul Allen? He was one of the co-founders of this massive computer company in 1975. Originally, the company was called Micro Soft, however it was changed to simply Microsoft upon incorporation.

Allen was born in 1953 in Seattle, Washington. He attended a private school where he became friends with Bill Gates, despite the fact he was two years younger. The two became fast friends because of their love for computers. Somehow the two managed to work on their school’s minicomputer as much as possible and then began to sneak into computer labs at the local college campus. They helped students with computer problems so they would be given access to these computers. Time went by and Allen as well as Gates remained close and consumed with computers. Allen attended Washington State University, but dropped out to form Micro Soft. He convinced Gates to drop out of Harvard College as well to help with the development of Micro Soft.

In 1975 the company began selling a BASIC interpreter and then in 1980 bought an operating system called QDOS. The $59,000 investment in this system proved profitable as it was used by IBM with the personal computer. This deal was just the beginning of Microsoft’s success. In 1983 however Allen was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease and he resigned from the company. Fortunately, he was successfully treated with radiation, chemotherapy, and a bone marrow transplant.

Today Allen owns two professional sports teams, is a huge philanthropist, and is involved in all types of business activities. His wealth has been valued at more than $21 billion.