Paul Allen

IRL Name: 
Paul Allen

Paul Allen is an American inventor, computer programmer, investor and philanthropist, best known as the co-founder, with Bill Gates, of Microsoft Corporation. He is the founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc., which manages his various business and philanthropic efforts. Hismemoir Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft was released on April 19, 2011.

He came up with the original name of "Micro-Soft," as recounted in a 1995 Fortune magazine article. In 1980, after promising to deliver IBM a Disk Operating System (DOS) they had not yet developed for the Intel 8088-based IBM PC, Allen spearheaded a deal for Microsoft to purchase a Quick and Dirty Operating System (QDOS) written by Tim Paterson who, at the time, was employed at Seattle Computer Products. As a result of this transaction, Microsoft was able to secure a contract to supply the DOS that would eventually run on IBM's PC line. This contract with IBM was the watershed in Microsoft history that led to Allen and Gates' wealth.


He convinced Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard University in order to create Microsoft.

He officially resigned from his position on the Microsoft Board of Directors in November 2000 but was asked to consult as a senior strategy advisor to the company's executives.

He and Bill Gates used Lakeside's Teletype terminal to develop their programming skills on several time-sharing computer systems.

He earned a perfect score of 1600 on the SAT.