Paul Gardner Allen is the co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation alongside Bill Gates. Although he left Microsoft in 1983, Allen has continued to grow his portfolio through investments in real estate, sports and media. Consequently, he is currently valued at $16.9 billion placing him squarely among the world’s wealthiest persons.
Allen and Gates met while attending Lakeside School and they soon found out that they had something in common: a love for computers. As a result, Allen dropped out of Washington State University and went on to become Microsoft’s Chief Technologist. Unfortunately, in 1982, Paul was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and he left Microsoft soon after this diagnosis. However, that exit notwithstanding, Allen went on to buy prime real estate in South Lake Union, Seattle and has even bought himself the Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Seahawks a share of the Seattle Sounders.
Moreover, Allen has a liking for all things flight hence it’s no surprise that he owns a collection of very well taken care of World War II planes. They have found a home in Everett, Washington where they are referred to as the Flying Heritage Collection. In addition, Paul’s fascination with flying doesn’t end with planes; he has gone further and has now set his sights on outer space. As such, he provided funding for SpaceShipOne, a craft that was able to place the first civilian in space. And, for this achievement, Allen and his designer Burt Rutan were rewarded with the 2004 Ansari X-Prize.
Interestingly enough, this sixty-one year old doesn’t spend all his time trying to make an extra buck. No, he actually finds the time to have some fun. Believe it or not, Allen is a guitarist for the Underthinkers and they are a serious band with an album known as Everywhere At Once.