Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen died Monday at the age of 65 from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, just two weeks after announcing the cancer he battled in 2009 had returned. Allen was just 22 years old in 1975 when he first set up the company that would later become known as Microsoft with then–19-year-old Bill Gates, ushering in the era of personal computing for the masses. Allen ended up leaving the company after just eight years amid deteriorating health and a souring relationship with Gates, and used his wealth to buy the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers. Allen announced earlier this month that the cancer that had been in remission for nearly a decade had returned, but he appeared optimistic, signaling that he would remain involved with his real estate company, Vulcan, as well as the two sports franchises.
“A lot has happened in medicine since I overcame this disease in 2009. My doctors are optimistic that I will see good results from the latest therapies, as am I,” Allen wrote on his website earlier this month. “I will continue to stay involved with Vulcan, the Allen Institutes, the Seahawks and Trail Blazers, as I have in the past. I have confidence in the leadership teams to manage their ongoing operations during my treatment.”
Allen’s condition deteriorated rapidly and he died in Seattle two weeks later. “It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our founder Paul G. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and noted technologist, philanthropist, community builder, conservationist, musician and supporter of the arts,” Vulcan said in a statement Monday. “Mr. Allen died on Monday afternoon, October 15, 2018, from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Seattle.”
“While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much-loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend. Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern,” Allen’s sister, Jody Allen, said in a statement. “For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends. At this time of loss and grief for us—and so many others—we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day.”