Paul Allen (right) and Bill Gates pictured in March 2013. Picture: AP
Paul Allen (right) and Bill Gates pictured in March 2013. Picture: AP

Microsoft co-founder dead at 65

BILLIONAIRE Paul Allen, who founded US software giant Microsoft with Bill Gates in the 1970s, has died at the age of 65 after his latest battle with cancer, his family said.

His death comes just two weeks after announcing he had restarted treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

His family confirmed his death in a statement today.

"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," Allen's sister Jody said in a statement.

 

"Paul's family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern … 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."

After leaving Microsoft, Allen turned his focus to a wide range of other business and scientific pursuits, which including founding the Allen Institute for Brain Science, and the real estate arm of Vulcan, which went on to build much of Amazon's campus.

Allen also owned the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trailblazers.

"All of us who had the honor of working with Paul feel inexpressible loss today," said a statement by Vulcan, which Allen launched in 1983.

Paul Allen owned the NBA team Portland Trailblazers. Picture: AP
Paul Allen owned the NBA team Portland Trailblazers. Picture: AP

"He possessed a remarkable intellect and a passion to solve some of the world's most difficult problems, with the convictionthat creative thinking and new approaches could make profound and lasting impact."

Forbes estimated his net worth at $US20.3 billion.

Microsoft said Allen's "contributions to our company, our industry and to our community are indispensable."

"As co-founder of Microsoft, in his own quiet and persistent way, he created magical products, experiences and institutions. And in doing so, he changed the world," added the company's CEO Satya Nadella.

Tributes have begun to pour in on social media.