Austin City Limits was saddened to learn of the death of tech and investment giant Paul Allen non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 65. The Seattle native co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, which, along with Apple Computers, revolutionized the computer industry. After leaving Microsoft in 1982, he branched out, founding investment firm Vulcan Capital and investing in aerospace technology, sports franchises, film production and real estate. An accomplished guitarist himself, Allen released an album Everywhere at Once with his band the Underthinkers. Allen also founded the non-profit Seattle’s Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (now combined into the Museum of Pop Culture) and the Flying Heritage Museum.
Allen also founded the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization that gives billions of dollars to scientific and medical research (with a particular interest in preventing the spread of the ebola virus), environmental and conservation concerns, educational organizations and exploratory efforts. Austin City Limits has been one of the beneficiaries of his generosity – he helped us pay for the preservation of our video archives. That’s forty-four years of performances and over 8,000 hours of musical treasures, on various living and extinct formats – a major challenge for any archive, and one that would have been impossible to overcome without the support of Paul Allen.
“He was fond of saying, ‘If it has the potential to do good, then we should do it,’” noted his old friend and partner Gates on Allen’s passing. We can attest to his devotion to that motto. May he rest in peace.