Paul G. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with his childhood friend Bill Gates before becoming a billionaire philanthropist who invested in conservation, space travel, and professional sports, died Monday. He was 65, the AP reports. His death was announced by his company, Vulcan Inc. Earlier this month Allen announced that the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that he was treated for in 2009 had returned and he planned to fight it aggressively. "While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much-loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend," says his sister, Jody Allen, in a statement. Allen, who was an avid sports fan, owned the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks.
Allen and Gates dropped out of college to focus on their company—originally called Micro-Soft—which got its big break in the 1980s when they bought and refined an operating system for IBM Corp. Their company soon produced Windows, an operating system that was on 93% of the world's personal computers by 1991. Microsoft was thrust onto the throne of technology and soon Gates and Allen became billionaires. Allen served as Microsoft's executive vice president of research and new product development until 1983, when he resigned after being diagnosed with cancer and focused partly on philanthropic efforts. "To be 30 years old and have that kind of shock—to face your mortality—really makes you feel like you should do some of the things that you haven't done yet," Allen said in a 2000 book, Inside Out: Microsoft in Our Own Words.
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