The 15th of October marked the end of an era as the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, passed away at 65 years of age. The tech legend had just recently announced the return of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, for which he had previously been treated in 2009. He leaves behind a legacy of priceless contributions to the tech industry.
Paul Allen’s friend and business partner, Bill Gates penned a moving tribute to him titled “What I Loved About Paul Allen”.
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I’m heartbroken by the loss of my dear friend Paul Allen. From our early days in school and at Microsoft to joint philanthropic projects, Paul was a true partner. He put his intellect and compassion to work improving people’s lives. He’d say, “If it has the potential to do good, then we should do it.” That’s the kind of person he was. Paul deserved more time in life. He would have made the most of it. I will miss him tremendously.
Extending his condolences to Paul’s friends and family, Bill remembers how meeting him in 7th grade had changed his life. He writes:
“I met Paul when I was in 7th grade, and it changed my life.
I looked up to him right away. He was two years ahead of me in school, really tall, and proved to be a genius with computers. (Later, he also had a very cool beard, which I could never pull off.) We started hanging out together, especially once the first computer arrived at our school. We spent just about all our free time messing around with any computer we could get our hands on.”
Bill credits Paul for having the vision to foresee the impact computers would have on the world. He remembers Paul predicting the astronomical advances computer chips would go through, giving rise to a new industry.
He says this very insight is what became the cornerstone of everything they’ve accomplished together.
Bill also credits the existence of Microsoft to his dear friend. He says the company would’ve never come into being if not for Paul:
“Paul set a standard that few other people could meet,” says Bill, praising his wide-ranging mind and special talent for explaining complicated topics in a simple manner.
He looks back at the time Paul had put his curious teenage mind at ease, explaining various topics with ease:
“As a teenager, I was curious about (of all things) gasoline. What did “refining” even mean? I turned to the most knowledgeable person I knew. Paul explained it in a super-clear and interesting way. It was just one of many enlightening conversations we would have over the coming decades.
Paul was cooler than I was. He was really into Jimi Hendrix as a teenager, and I remember him playing Are You Experienced? for me. I wasn’t experienced at much of anything back then, and Paul wanted to share this amazing music with me. That’s the kind of person he was. He loved life and the people around him, and it showed.”
He also remembers his passion for sports and the special moments the two have spent watching Paul’s favourite team, the Portland Trail Blazers.
He ends his tribute with a solemn note about how he remembers the legend as someone who held his friends and family dear. And also as a brilliant technologist and philanthropist who wanted to accomplish great things, and did.
He finishes on an emotional note:
“Paul deserved more time in life. He would have made the most of it. I will miss him tremendously.”
The world will truly miss the tech mogul, Paul Allen. Our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.