With lifetime giving totaling over $1.8 billion, investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen has spent his career tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Through both for-profit and philanthropic investments, Allen has sparked important developments and innovations in the areas of science, technology, education, conservation, the arts and community improvement.
Allen, who co-founded Microsoft in 1975 with Bill Gates, is mapping new frontiers and fueling exploration across a broad range of industries as the founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc., the Seattle-based company that oversees his business and philanthropic efforts. Allen’s vision has forwarded projects such as leading the massive redevelopment of Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, founding three museums including Seattle’s critically acclaimed EMP Museum, funding the first privately-backed effort to successfully put a civilian in suborbital space, and launching Stratolaunch Systems, which is developing a revolutionary airborne launch system. He also owns the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League, the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association, and is part of the primary ownership group for the Seattle Sounders FC, the city's Major League Soccer team.
Allen is included among the world’s leading philanthropists who have pledged to give away the majority of their fortunes to charity. His giving is channeled through The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and through direct gifts, including $26 million to Washington State University for the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health. In 2003, he founded the Allen Institute for Brain Science to accelerate understanding of the human brain in health and disease, supporting the Seattle non-profit with $500 million to date. A decade later, he launched the Allen Institute for the Artificial Intelligence to explore critical questions in AI.
Allen’s award-winning film company, Vulcan Productions, develops and supports media projects that help audiences understand the world around them and respond to challenges, including the Emmy Award-winning Rx for Survival–A Global Health Challenge; the Peabody Award-winning Judgment Day: Intelligent Design; the PBS series This Emotional Life; the PBS series The Blues; and documentary films like Girl Rising and Pandora’s Promise. Allen is also founder of the EMP Museum, Seattle's critically acclaimed interactive museum of music, popular culture and science fiction; the Flying Heritage Collection, an assemblage of rare World War II aircraft restored to flying condition and shared with the public; and the Living Computer Museum, a collection of restored vintage timesharing computer equipment.
IDEA MAN, Allen's memoir, was a New York Times bestseller.