Our Founder

Paul G. Allen

With lifetime giving totaling over $2 billion, investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen 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, Paul Allen 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, mapped new frontiers and fueled exploration across a broad range of areas as the founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc., the Seattle-based company that oversees his business and philanthropic efforts. Allen’s vision forwarded projects such as the massive redevelopment of Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, the foundation of three museums including Seattle’s MoPOP, and the launching of ambitious engineering project Stratolaunch Systems. He also owned the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League and the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association.

Allen is included among the world’s leading philanthropists who have pledged to give the majority of their fortunes to charity and to philanthropic ventures. During his lifetime, he founded several non-profit scientific institutes to accelerate important areas of human health and technology. In 2003, he founded the Allen Institute for Brain Science to accelerate understanding of the human brain in health and disease. A decade later, he launched the Allen Institute for AI to explore critical questions in artificial intelligence. In 2014, he founded the Allen Institute for Cell Science which uses diverse technologies and approaches at a large scale to study the cell and its components as an integrated system. In 2016, he introduced The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group to identify and foster new ideas in bioscience around the world, and in 2018 he founded the Allen Institute for Immunology to improve how we diagnose, treat and prevent immune-related diseases.

Allen’s award-winning film company, Vulcan Productions, developed and supported media projects that help audiences understand the world around them and respond to challenges. Idea Man, Allen's 2011 memoir, was a New York Times bestseller.