Microsoft co-founder Allen treated for lymphoma

Nov 17, 2009 By JESSICA MINTZ , AP Technology Writer
This Friday, July 10, 2009 picture shows Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen at the annual Allen & Co.'s media summit in Sun Valley, Idaho . Allen has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In a memo sent to employees, the CEO of Allen's investment firm says the 56-year-old Allen received the diagnosis in Nov. 2009 and has begun chemotherapy. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

(AP) -- Microsoft Corp. co-founder and billionaire investor Paul Allen has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and is undergoing chemotherapy.

In a memo sent to employees, Jody Allen, Paul Allen's sister and the CEO of his investment firm Vulcan Inc., said the 56-year-old received the diagnosis early this month. According to the memo, Paul Allen has diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a relatively common form of lymphoma.

Allen battled another form of , Hodgkin's lymphoma, more than 20 years ago and survived. The CEO wrote that Allen "is optimistic he can beat this, too."

"Paul is feeling OK and remains upbeat," she added. "He continues to work and he has no plans to change his role at Vulcan."

Allen founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, a high school friend and fellow computer enthusiast, in 1975.

Gates said in a statement late Monday that Allen remains one of his closest friends.

"Melinda and I have Paul and his family in our thoughts and prayers," he said in the statement, as reported by TechFlash, a tech news Web site. "I know to him be a strong and resilient individual."

Allen served as the company's executive vice president of research and new product development until 1983, when he left to focus on his health.

Allen remained a major shareholder and member of the board, and went on to invest broadly in technology, real estate, sports and the arts.

He formed Vulcan in the mid-1980s to invest in media and communications companies, including America Online, DreamWorks Animation and cable operator Charter Communications Inc. He also co-founded a Silicon Valley research lab that he then shuttered after investing more than $100 million.

Beyond technology, Allen has used his Microsoft earnings to take his interests to an extreme. A longtime sports fan, Allen bought football's Seattle Seahawks and basketball's Portland Trailblazers, and he is part owner of the Seattle Sounders FC, a major league soccer team. Allen has been present at Seahawks games this season, chatting in the locker room with players. He has a band and a recording studio, and built the Experience Music Project, a museum about rock music in Seattle.

Allen has also collected and restored more than 30 vintage airplanes, started a brain science institute and through Vulcan's real estate arm redeveloped a large swath of downtown Seattle known as the South Lake Union neighborhood.

At last count, Allen's net worth totaled about $11.5 billion, making him the 17th richest person in the world according to Forbes' September 2009 tally.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Report: FBI's anthrax investigation was flawed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Famed physicist James Van Allen dead at 91

Aug 09, 2006

Renowned physicist James Van Allen, who helped launch the United States into the space age and for whom the Van Allen radiation belts are named, has died. He was 91.

US space tourist blasts off to space station

Mar 26, 2009

(AP) -- A Russian capsule carrying U.S. billionaire space tourist Charles Simonyi sailed into orbit Thursday after blasting off in a roar of fire for the international space station.

Recommended for you

Report: FBI's anthrax investigation was flawed

Dec 19, 2014

The FBI used flawed scientific methods to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people and sickened 17 others, federal auditors said Friday in a report sure to fuel skepticism over the FBI's ...

Study reveals mature motorists worse at texting and driving

Dec 18, 2014

A Wayne State University interdisciplinary research team in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has made a surprising discovery: older, more mature motorists—who typically are better drivers in ...

Napster co-founder to invest in allergy research

Dec 17, 2014

(AP)—Napster co-founder Sean Parker missed most of his final year in high school and has ended up in the emergency room countless times because of his deadly allergy to nuts, shellfish and other foods.

LA mayor plans 7,000 police body cameras in 2015

Dec 16, 2014

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a plan Tuesday to equip 7,000 Los Angeles police officers with on-body cameras by next summer, making LA's police department the nation's largest law enforcement agency to move ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.