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Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies of cancer at 65

Microsoft Corporation, co-founder Paul Allen, the man who persuaded school-friend Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard to start what became the world’s biggest software company, died on Monday at the age of 65, his family said.

Allen died from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer, the Allen family said in a statement.

In early October, Allen had revealed he was being treated for the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which he also was treated for in 2009. He had an earlier brush with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, another cancer, in the early 1980s before leaving Microsoft.

Allen remained loyal to the Pacific Northwest region, directing more than $1 billion to mostly local philanthropic projects, developing Seattle’s South Lake Union tech hub that Amazon.com Inc calls home and building the headquarters of his Allen Institute for Brain Science there.

Gates described Allen as following the Microsoft partnership with a “second act” focused on strengthening communities and in a statement said, “I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends.”

Current Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella on Monday called him a “quiet and persistent” man who changed the world.

Paul Gardner Allen was born in Seattle on Jan. 21, 1953, the son of a librarian father and teacher mother. He was two years older than Gates but when they met in the computer room at the exclusive Lakeside School in Seattle in 1968, they discovered a shared passion.

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