Paul Allen

Topics: Bill Gates, Monica Seles, Microsoft Pages: 1 (545 words) Published: October 18, 2014
So what do billionaires spend their money on? Paul Allen may not be a household name. but he is one of the world's richest and most influential men, with a wealth of interests and a gift for ideas.

Paul Allen is the computer genius who, with Bill Gates, launched Microsoft, the world's largest producer of software, in 1975. Since then, he has built up a fortune estimated at the turn of the century to be worth over $30 billion.

Allen was Vice-President in charge of research and product development when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, a form of leukaemia. He underwent radiotherapy successfully, but the experience forced him to evaluate his life and to rethink its direction. Until that point he had been wholly focused on his work with Microsoft but decided to leave the company in 1983. Before moving on, however, he secured a seat on the Microsoft board. As he retained a seven per cent share of the company's stock, the money has continued to roll in.

Allen has dedicated much of his life since then to the causes he cares abou. He gives away millions of dollars each year. He has established charitable foundations to boost the arts, save the trees, promote literacy, build swimming pools, and fund medical research. He has financed numerous development projects in and around the city of Seattle, and put $60 million into Aids research, and to modernizing libraries and theatres.

As soon as an idea is formed, it is translated into action. Typical of Allen's approach was his idea for saving and resurrecting the Cinerama Theater. While buying laser discs from a video store near where he had grown up. Allen noticed a "Save the Cinerama" petition on the counter. The Cinerama was once a hugely popular entertainment center, but in recent years it had become sad and run down. After learning that it might become a dinner theater, a rock-climbing club, or even a parking lot, Allen signed the petition. Then he bought the theater icr $3.75 million. America's...
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