Microsoft founder pledges £8.7bn to philanthropy
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says he is committing most of his estimated $13.5 billion (£8.7 billion) fortune to philanthropy after his death.
Allen follows in the footsteps of former business partner Bill Gates and billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who have both pledged the vast majority of their wealth to philanthropy.
Allen, the 37th richest person in the world according to Forbes magazine, co-founded Microsoft in 1975 with Gates and resigned as an executive in 1983 as he overcame a first bout with cancer, although he has since been treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
He has been involved with philanthropy in the US Pacific Northwest for 20 years, largely through his Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, handing out more than $1 billion in grants and funding for local projects.
“I also want to announce that my philanthropic efforts will continue after my lifetime,” said Allen. “I’ve planned for many years now that the majority of my estate will be left to philanthropy to continue the work of the foundation and to fund non-profit scientific research.”
He gave no details of how his fortune would be directed to philanthropy after his death. Unlike the Gates Foundation, which has an independent $34 billion endowment for grant-making, Allen funds his own foundation’s grants directly.
Since announcing his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis last November, Allen has completed a course of chemotherapy and currently has no medical issues, his spokesman said.