Paul Allen

 

Allen was the founder, with his sister Jody Allen, and Chairman of Vulcan Inc., the privately held company that managed his various business and philanthropic efforts. He had a multibillion-dollar investment portfolio including technology and media companies, scientific research, real estate holdings, private spaceflight ventures, and stakes in other sectors. He owned two professional sports teams: the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League and the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association, and was part-owner of the Seattle Sounders FC, which joined Major League Soccer in 2009.
Gates reportedly asked Allen to give him some of his shares to compensate for the higher amount of work being performed by Gates. According to Allen, Gates said since he "did almost everything on BASIC", the company should be split 60–40 in his favor. Allen agreed to this arrangement, which Gates later renegotiated to 64–36. In 1983, Gates tried to buy Allen out at $5 per share; however, Allen refused and left the company with his shares intact. This proved critical to Allen's becoming a billionaire after Microsoft went public.
In 2013, Vulcan Productions co-produced the Richard E. Robbins-directed film Girl Rising which tells the stories of girls from different parts of the world who seek an education. Globally over 205 million households watched Girl Rising during the CNN and CNN International premieres, and over 4 million people have engaged with Girl Rising through websites and social media. Through the associated 10x10 program, over $2.1 million has been donated to help girls receive an education worldwide.
In 2012, along with his research team and the Royal Navy, Allen attempted to retrieve the bell from HMS Hood, which sank in the Denmark Strait during World War II, but the attempt failed due to poor weather. On August 7, 2015, they tried again and recovered the bell in very good condition. It was further restored and put on display in May 2016 in the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth, in remembrance of the 1,415 crewmen lost.
In 2019, Allen's memoir Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft, was published by Portfolio, a Penguin Group imprint. The book recounts how Allen became enamored with computers at an early age, conceived the idea for Microsoft, recruited his friend Bill Gates to join him, and launched what would become the world's most successful software company. It also explores Allen's business and creative ventures following his 1983 departure from Microsoft, including his involvement in SpaceShipOne, his purchase of the Portland Trailblazers and Seattle Seahawks, his passion for music, and his ongoing support for scientific research. The book made The New York Times Best Seller list. The paperback version of Idea Man, which included a new epilogue, came out on October 30, 2012.