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Enterpreneur, Inventor and Musician: All About Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen and His Net Worth

Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, amassed significant wealth while making notable contributions to technology, sports, and philanthropy.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Mat Hayward
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Mat Hayward
Name Paul Gardner Allen
Net Worth $20 Billion
Sources of Income Stake in Microsoft, investments, and sports team ownership
Gender Male
Date of Birth January 21, 1953 - October 15, 2018
Age 65 years old (at the time of his death)
Nationality American
Profession Programmer, entrepreneur, investor, film producer, inventor
Paul G. Allen | Getty Images
Paul G. Allen | Getty Images

Paul Allen, a prominent American industrialist, investor, musician, sports team owner, and philanthropist, had a net worth of $20 billion when he passed away on October 15, 2018. He co-founded tech giant Microsoft with his childhood friend Bill Gates, but resigned from the firm in 1983 due to Hodgkin Disease, and retained a seat on the board of directors, as per CelebrityNetWorth.

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Allen's primary source of income was his 25% stake in Microsoft after it went public in 1986. At that time, the 33-year-old Allen's share was worth $195 million, and he invested the proceeds from his Microsoft stake into private venture firm, Vulcan Capital. Through it, he invested in car care brands, real estate development, and technology companies.

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A post shared by Paul G. Allen (@officialpaulallen)


As per SeattleTimes, Paul Allen had a philanthropic vision to donate the majority of his $20 billion-plus fortune, earned as a Microsoft co-founder, tech investor, real estate mogul, and owner of NFL and NBA teams.

Paul Allen's business ventures

Aside from Microsoft, Paul Allen's owned car care brands Maaco and Meineke and developed substantial real estate projects through Vulcan Capital. He founded Vulcan Aerospace to fund SpaceShipOne, which secured the $10 million Ansari X Prize in 2004. Allen's investment in technology companies, such as Uber and DreamWorks, also expanded his financial portfolio. In 1997, Allen acquired the Seahawks for $194 million, countering threats by previous owner Ken Behring to relocate the team to Southern California.


Paul Allen curated an extraordinary art collection that showcased exceptional pieces like Jasper Johns' "Small False Start" and Paul Cezanne's "La Montagne Sainte-Victoire." This collection encompassed works by renowned artists such as Botticelli, Degas, Monet, and more. In the year 2022, the estate of Paul Allen carried out an auction of 150 carefully selected artworks from his collection in collaboration with Christie's for charity. The anticipation surrounding this auction was heightened by the projected value of over $1 billion.


He also owned the grand "Octopus" yacht, which was the world's largest at 414 feet upon its completion in 2003, with a pool, basketball court, and music studio on board. It was also outfitted with helicopters, submarines, boats, and jet skis, and assemnled for $200 million. The yacht also demanded a weekly operational outlay of an astounding $384,000.

Paul Allen's diverse real estate portfolio spanned from a Manhattan penthouse to a 4,000-acre Idaho retreat. Notably, he acquired the Sol y Sombra estate in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2000, featuring a 20-acre property with a 9,685 square foot main house and additional lodges. In 2013, Allen purchased Utah's Trees Ranch, a 2,066-acre property bordering public lands.

In Silicon Valley he acquired a 22,005 square foot Atherton property in 2013 and in New York City, he bought a penthouse in 2011. Allen purchased properties near Tetonia and a 1,200-acre property with the Teton Ridge Ranch in Idaho, and a Hawaiian compound as well. A mansion in Cap Ferrat, France, and Washington's Sperry Peninsula also showcased his expansive holdings. Additionally, he owned multiple houses on Mercer Island, and later sold properties worth $101 million.


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Paul Allen was deeply involved in philanthropy, contributing over $2 billion toward advancements in science, technology, health, and human services. He was also a musician, releasing a blues-rock album with his band, The Underthinkers. His sister, Jody Allen, and her children were his beneficiaries following his passing, inheriting his extensive real estate holdings and philanthropic initiatives.

In 1982, Allen received a diagnosis of Stage 1-A Hodgkin's lymphoma, a condition he successfully overcame through several months of radiation therapy. Subsequently, in 2009, he faced a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which, too, was effectively treated. Tragically, the illness resurfaced in 2018, leading to his passing on October 15 of that year due to septic shock.


How much of Microsoft did Paul Allen own?

Allen owned a 25% in Microsoft.

Why did Bill Gates and Paul Allen fight?

Bill Gates was unhappy with the fact that Allen was doing less work.

When and how did Paul Allen die?

He died in October 15, 2018 due to Hodgkin's lymphoma.