Paul Allen

Paul Gardner Allen ( born January 21, 1953 in Seattle ) is an American entrepreneur who has co-founded with Bill Gates, the software company Microsoft and was with him from 1975 to 1983 on the board. After that he worked mainly as a businessman and team owner in North American professional sports.

Allen heard with assets of 15.0 billion U.S. dollars to the richest people in the world (Forbes Magazine 2013: Rank 53). He is regarded as the visionary of the " networked world ". Its investments should have cost in the networked world $ 12 billion by 2007.


Paul Gardner Allen was born in Seattle, Washington, the son of Kenneth S. Allen, a deputy director of the Library of the University of Washington, and Faye G. Allen. He attended Lakeside School, a prestigious private school, and made friends there with the two years younger Bill Gates to, with whom he shared his enthusiasm for computers. Together they tore the use of the single mini-computer of the Lakeside School in itself. Looking for more computing power they sneaked into the computer laboratories of the University of Washington. They were caught, but were able to reach an agreement with the management of the laboratory, by giving free help in the use of computers students.

After graduation Allen attended Washington State University, but went off after two years to " computer personnel " to write commercial software for the new. During this time he co-founded with Bill Gates his first company with which they developed software for traffic counting. In 1973 he began at Honeywell as a programmer. Later he convinced Bill Gates to depart from Harvard College, to found Microsoft.


With Bill Gates together he founded in 1975 in Albuquerque ( New Mexico), the company Microsoft, originally called Micro -Soft, and began selling a BASIC interpreter. In 1980 he was substantially responsible for ensuring that Microsoft could buy an operating system called 86- DOS for $ 50,000. After that Microsoft won a contract to supply 86- DOS as the operating system for the new IBM PC. This became the basis for the growth of Microsoft.

Allen retired in 1983 from Microsoft after him Hodgkin's disease was diagnosed, which was later treated successfully. In November 2000, Allen also resigned from his position on the board of Microsoft, but was asked to continue working as a strategic consultant for Microsoft.

In August 2010, Paul Allen has filed through his company, Interval Licensing lawsuit against Google, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook, eBay and other software vendors, which he accused of using technology in user interfaces to which it owns the patents. Against Microsoft no such suit was filed.

Other companies and projects

Allen is involved in approximately 140 companies in the ICT sector.

His vision is the fusion of computer, home entertainment, television and the Internet. For this purpose, he bought satellite television providers, cable companies and the start-up Metricom, the major U.S. cities wanted to go with a wireless network. According to " The Wall Street Journal," he bought his company in 2002 and 2003 a number of radio licenses. End of January 2008 to the investment company founded in 1986 " Vulcan Ventures " have bid on at the auction of U.S. broadband frequencies.


In 2004, Allen confirmed that he was the sole investor for the SpaceShipOne. It is an experimental aircraft for commercial suborbital space flight. With SpaceShipOne, the first privately funded suborbital managed space flight. Thus, the project won the specially ausgelobten Ansari X-Prize.

Strato Launch

End of 2011, Allen announced plans to build on his new company Strato Launch the system, with a wingspan of 116 meters to date largest aircraft in the world. By plane to be launched in the air multi-stage rockets. As a machine designer Burt Rutan was brought into the conversation.

Social Commitment

Paul Allen financially is very committed to medical, scientific and technological work. To this end he founded in 1986, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. This manages the majority of Allen's contributions. About the Foundation he donates each year nearly 30 million U.S. dollars, the benefit for the most part ( about 75 percent of the total) non-profit organizations in Seattle and Washington State. The remaining 25 percent is distributed to organizations in Portland (Oregon ) and other cities in the Pacific Northwest.

Allen also contribute financially to the cost of various charitable projects such as SETI and Experience Music Project and the Allen Institute for Brain Research, which he founded together with his sister, Jody Allen Patton 2003. Since September 2006, this institute the Allen Brain Atlas available on the internet, a kind of virtual map of the mouse brain. Estimates of its total charitable contributions in 2005 amounted to about 815 million U.S. dollars.

The University of Washington is considered by Allen for many years on a large scale with financial support. In the late 1980s, he donated 18 million U.S. dollars in order to build a library which was then named after his father, Kenneth S. Allen. In 2003, he donated another 5 million dollars for a named after his mother Faye G. Allen Center for Visual Arts. He is also the largest private benefactor and namesake of the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering. At the establishment of this center, which was completed in 2004, Allen participated with 14 million U.S. dollars. For the Hospital of the University of Washington, he donated last 3.2 million dollars for research into prostate disease.

In 1993 Allen funded one of two years from extending litigation, in which the family of rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix regained the rights to the music. These rights had allegedly been previously sold by the administrators of the estate without permission. Allen also funded the purchase of various items from Hendrix's personal property (including the guitar Hendrix played at the Woodstock festival). These items were then made ​​available to the public at exhibitions of the Experience Music Project.

In July 2010 he joined the philanthropic campaign The Giving Pledge billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett pledged to give away more than half of its assets.

Art Collection

2006 Allen was the first time a selection of 28 paintings of his private art collection to the public. In the built by Frank Gehry Experience Music Project in Seattle, he presented under the title Double Take: From Monet to Lichtenstein works of Herbert Bayer, Jan Brueghel the Younger, Giovanni Antonio Canal, Paul Cézanne, Willem de Kooning, Edgar Degas, Max Ernst, Eric Fischl, Paul Gauguin, Nan Goldin, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Pierre- Auguste Renoir, Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko, Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Thomas Struth, William Turner, Vincent van Gogh and Kenji Yanobe from.

Participation in sports clubs

Allen is the owner of U.S. professional sports teams Seattle Seahawks (NFL) and Portland Trail Blazers (NBA). He is also a participant in the football club Seattle Sounders FC ( MLS).

Portland Trail Blazers

In 1988, Paul Allen bought for 70 million U.S. dollars, the Portland Trail Blazers, a basketball team from the American professional league NBA. He was a central figure in the planning and financing of the venue of the team, "Rose Garden Arena ", which was built in 1993.

Since the club is after Allen's information in financial trouble and will make over the next three years, according to his estimates, about 100 million U.S. dollars loss, Allen resigned in the spring of 2006 approached the leaders of the city of Portland and the State of Oregon and asked them to show support for the team. The mayor of Portland, Tom Potter, however, rejected this suggestion back with regard to the tight financial situation of the city.

Fans of the Trail Blazers throw Allen before he was partly responsible for the deterioration of the performance of the team as well as for her sinking reputation in professional circles since 1996. According to the Forbes magazine, the value of the team in 2006 was about 300 million U.S. dollars.

Seattle Seahawks

1997 acquired all the American football team Seattle Seahawks. The city of Seattle had asked him for help after the previous owner Ken Behring wanted to push through a move the team to California. The new stadium for the Seahawks, Qwest Field was indeed mainly funded by taxes, but again Allen was one of the driving forces behind the planning. On 2 February 2014, the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Super Bowl XLVIII the favorite Denver Broncos with a superior 43:8 victory and won for the first time in your history the Super Bowl.


In 2003, Allen's yacht Octopus was put into operation. Built as a joint work by Lürssen in Bremen and HDW - the German shipyard in Kiel it belongs with 127 meters in length, a private submarine and several dinghies currently the world's ten largest yachts.

Allen has two other yachts, including the 92 meter long " Tatoosh ", which was built by the shipyard in Rendsburg Nobis Krug.


  • Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft. Portfolio / Penguin, April 2011, ISBN 978-1-59184-382-5. German version: Idea Man. The autobiography of the Microsoft co-founder. Frankfurt / New York: Campus Verlag, July 2011, ISBN 978-3-593-39539-5.