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Roger McNamee: Microsoft wouldn’t have existed without Paul Allen

Zack Guzman
Senior Writer

The tech community is remembering the legacy left by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen after his death at age 65 due to complications with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  

Long-time tech investor and Elevation Partners co-founder Roger McNamee, appearing on Yahoo Finance’s Market Movers, was among those honoring Allen by reflecting on his life spent caring about others, including tennis player Monica Seles, who was stabbed during a tennis match. “Paul did a whole series of things to take care of her afterward — and I’m not even sure he knew her going in.”

“He was idealistic and compassionate in a way that in business you hardly ever see,” McNamee said, adding that without Allen’s support in the early days of Microsoft the tech giant would not be here today.

“It was his idea and his technology. He got Bill to quit Harvard — not everyone can do that,” he said. “Every once in a while the perfect combination comes together and I think they were exactly that.”

Allen beyond Microsoft

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates largely echoed that sentiment in a statement issued following the death Monday of his co-founder and long-time partner.

“From our early days together at Lakeside School, through our partnership in the creation of Microsoft, to some of our joint philanthropic projects over the years, Paul was a true partner and dear friend. Personal computing would not have existed without him,” Gates wrote.

Over the years, Allen, who also owns the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers, donated billions of dollars to various philanthropic endeavors including efforts to advance education, science and the arts in impoverished areas. He also donated $30 million to a Seattle housing project dedicated to homeless families last month before losing his battle to cancer.

Zack Guzman is a reporter at Yahoo Finance

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