Paul Allen - Fortune - Billionaire list

Paul Allen
Paul G. Allen (born January 21, 1953) is an entrepreneur who first established himself by co-founding Microsoft Corporation with Bill Gates. His investment company Vulcan Ventures also holds large stakes in Charter Communications and Dreamworks SKG.

As of 2004 worth an estimated $21 billion, $5 billion of which is in Microsoft stock.

How Paul Allen got Rich
Allen was born in Seattle, Washington. At Lakeside School, Paul Allen (14 years old) and friend Bill Gates (12 years old) became early computer enthusiasts. Allen went on to attend Washington State University, though he dropped out after two years to pursue his and Gates's dream of writing software commercially for the new "personal computers".

They founded Microsoft (initially "Micro Soft") in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1975, and began selling a BASIC interpreter. Allen spearheaded a deal for Microsoft to buy an operating system called QDOS for $50,000. Microsoft won a contract to supply it for use as the operating system of IBM's new PC. This became a foundation of Microsoft's remarkable growth.

Allen was forced to resign from Microsoft in 1983 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease which was successfully treated by several months of radiation therapy and a bone marrow transplant.

In November 2000 Allen resigned from his position on the Microsoft board.

Allen invests in a number of companies and projects through Vulcan Inc. and his venture capital firm, Vulcan Ventures. This includes Charter Communications, for which he is the chairman of the Board of Directors.

He is the owner of the Portland Trail Blazers (an NBA basketball team) and the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. He also owns Rose Garden Arena, the home court of the NBA Blazers team. Due to declining attendance in 2002 and 2003, as well as difficulties renegotiating the terms of a 1993 loan, the Rose Garden corporation filed for bankruptcy on February 27, 2004.

He owns (through Rose City Radio Corporation) some Portland Oregon radio stations. When he heard Seattle's Cinerama movie theater was about to shut down, he bought, restored, and updated it into a showplace for movies of all formats. He is also one of the principal financiers behind the SETI project, having stepped in to rescue the project when NASA stopped funding it in the 1990s.