Paul Allen’s Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Paul Allen family

Getty Paul Allen died on October 15 from non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was worth $20 billion at the time of his death.

Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, has died from non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Allen was never married, and has no children. In a statement from his family, his sister, Jody Allen, said,

“My brother was a remarkable individual on every level. While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend.

Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern. For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends. At this time of loss and grief for us – and so many others – we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day.”

Allen was worth over $20 billion at the time of his death. Here’s what you need to know about his family.

1. Allen Was Never Married & Had No Children– But He Always Wanted a Family

Paul Allen never married in his life, and doesn’t have any children. He was often considered reclusive, and is survived by his sister, Jody Allen.

However, that doesn’t mean he never wanted a family. In a 60 Minutes interview, Allen said at 58 years old, “I’m still optimistic. I still believe I’m going to meet somebody. I want to have a family.”

Unfortunately, that dream never came true for Allen. At the time of his death, he was still single.

2. Allen’s Father,  Kenneth Allen, Was an Associate Director at the University of Washington Library System, & His Mother, Edna “Faye” Gardner, Was a Teacher

Allen’s love of learning seemed to have derived from his parents. Kenneth Allen and Edna “Faye” Gardner left Oklahoma after World War II and settled in Seattle, where they would eventually raise their family.

According to the Paul Allen Philanthropies site, Kenneth and Faye Allen both loved to read, and “instilled a deep curiosity and love for new ideas into their two children.”

The mission statement for the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation reads in part,

“Paul and Jody continue their family’s tradition for learning and giving back to the community as founders of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. With roots firmly planted in the Pacific Northwest, the Foundation follows a giving philosophy that reflects the Allen family’s respect for the pursuit of knowledge and their love for the arts and innovation.

In honor of Paul and Jody’s parents, libraries continue to be a key initiative inside the Foundation’s Pacific Northwest program. The Faye G. Allen Library Program supports projects in Washington and Oregon that encourage children to read and help connect patrons to books, information and ideas. Wherever the Foundation gives, there is a clear tie to the Allen family story and the legacy Kenneth and Faye began when they set down roots in the Pacific Northwest.”

3. Jo Lynn ‘Jody’ Allen, Allen’s Sister, Is a Businesswoman & Philanthropist, Herself

Though there has been significant speculation about tensions within their relationship, Jody Allen has long been in close proximity to her brother, and even served as CEO of Vulcan, Allen’s investment, real estate and philanthropic organization which worked to manage his wealth, until 2014.

At the time of her departure, there was speculation that she was leaving due to growing tension with her brother, though that has never been confirmed. Rather, she described her decision to leave as a sabbatical.

In a statement to Vulcan employees, Jody Allen wrote,

“We have had a very busy year here at Vulcan, with many impressive accomplishments, including our recent announcements around our Ebola campaign. As you know, we recently welcomed Barb Bennett as our new COO, to enable me to focus on our philanthropic programs. Having successfully shepherded our Ebola work through last week’s very successful announcements, I have decided this is a good time for me to take a sabbatical. It has been a long while since I have taken time off to go into the field and it is long overdue.I am looking forward to stepping back from daily operational responsibilities and focusing on new philanthropic directions.”

4. A Large Portion of Allen’s Wealth Was Devoted to Philanthropic Causes, Which Will Likely Play a Part in Where His Net Worth Is Dispersed

Like his co-founder, Gates, Allen was astoundingly philanthropic over the course of his life, donating hundreds of millions of dollars to various organizations, charities, and nonprofits each year.

Over the course of his life, Allen donated a cumulative $2 billion to philanthropic endeavors, which ranged in focus from ocean health, to homelessness, to the fight against ebola.

5. In Addition to His Wealth From Microsoft, Allen Also Owned Two Professional Sports Teams

Allen’s wealth was far-reaching, and came from multiple sources: in addition to his wealth earned from Microsoft, he also owned the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers.

It’s unclear what will happen to his stake in ownership in these teams, in the wake of his death. However, the NBA has already released a statement on Allen’s passing.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s statement read, 

“Paul Allen was the ultimate trail blazer–in business, philanthropy, and sports. As one of the longest-tenured owners in the NBA, Paul brought a sense of discovery and vision to every matter large and small. He was generous with his time on committee work, and his expertise helped lay the foundation for the league’s growth internationally, and our embrace of new technologies. He was a valued voice who challenged assumptions and conventional wisdom and one we will deeply miss as we start a new season without him.”

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