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Transcript of Ben Meisenheimer
He was born on January 21, 1953 in Seattle, Washington.
Currently, Allen lives on Lake Washington's Mercer Island, near Seattle.
Paul met fellow Lakeside School student and computer enthusiast, Bill Gates, when he was 14 and Gates was 12.
In 1975, college drop-outs, Allen and Gates founded Microsoft.
He did it with the intention of designing software for a new wave of personal computers.
Apple and Commodore
By the time Allen arranged to buy an operating system called Q-DOS for $50,000, the company had already supplied software for emerging companies like Apple and Commodore.
Gates and Allen reinvented Q-DOS an MS- DOS and installed it as the operating system for IBM'PC offering, which dominated the market after its release in 1981.
Allen resigned in 1983 when diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease.
He underwent several months of radiation treatment.
As Microsoft grew and its stock steadily rose, Allen's share in the company he co-founded made him a billionare at just over 30 years of age.
In 1986, he set up a company called Vulcan Ventures in order to research possible investments. It manages his various business and philanthropic efforts.
In 1992,he founded a Silicon Valley think tank called Interval Research.
Wired World Society
Through Interval Research and Vulcan Ventures, Allen began to put his long-term dream of a wired world society- in which virtually everyone is online- into practice.
Allen has a multi-billion dollar investment portfolio including technology companies, real estate holdings, and stakes in other technology and media companies.
His investments were diverse: America Online, SureFind (an online classified ads service), Teluscan (an online financial service), and Starwave (an online content provider).
Allen attended Washington State University before dropping out.
Creating an Infrastructure
From 1994 to 1998, Allen built an infrastructure of well over 30 different companies in pursuit of his "wired world" strategy.
With Vulcan's purchases of Marcus Cable and more than 90 percent of Charter Communications, Allen became the owner of the nation's seventh largest cable company.
$2 Billion into RNC
In 1999, he invested nearly $2 billion in the RNC corporation, bringing his total holdings in the cable and internet businesses to over $25 billion.
In total, Allen has major investments in over 100 "new media" companies.
In late 1999, Allen and Vulcan Ventures agreed to fund POP.com, an entertainment company formed as a partnership between Imagine Entertainment and Dreamworks SKG.
$50 Billion into DreamWorks
Allen, already an investor in DreamWorks, reportedly invested $50 billion in the company, which aims to create and distribute short features exclusively on the internet.
He has also invested in Oxygen Media, a highly-touted company co-founded by Oprah Winfrey and dedicated to producing cable and internet programming for women.
Personal and philanthropic interests include sports and music.
Basketball and Football
Allen owns the Portland Trailblazers and the Seattle Seahawks.
He is also part of the primary ownership group for the Seattle Sounders FC.
On June 23, 2000, his Experience Music Project , a $250 million interactive rock and roll museum designed by the architect Frank O. Geary, opened in Seattle.
A dedicated Jimi Hendrix enthusiast, Allen plays rhythm guitar in a Seattle band called Grown Men; the band released their first CD in the Spring of 2000.
Allen with a net worth of about $30 billion, is variably reported to be from the second to the fourth-richest man in the world (depending on the current value of Microsoft stock).
He has also established philanthropic foundations for the causes of medical research, visual and performing arts, community service, and forest protection.
Science Fiction Experience
In April 2003, he announced he would be spending $20 million to build the Science Fiction Experience, which opened in Summer 2004.
On May 29, 2013, it was announced that Vulcan Productions, Allen's award winning media company, had signed on as a production partner of "Pandora's Promise", the ground-breaking documentary by Academy Award-nominated director Robert Stone.
Sundance Film Festival
The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews, and was scheduled to debut in the United States in November 2013, on CNN.
It tells the "intensely personal stories of environmentalists and energy experts who have converted from being fiercely anti to strongly pro-nuclear energy, risking their careers and reputations in the process."
Stone exposes this environmental controversy with stories of defection by Stewart Brand, Richard Rhodes, Gwyneth Cravens, Mark Lynas, and Michael Shellenberger, among others.
Allen is included among the world's leading philanthropists who have pledged to give away the majority of their fortunes to charity.
Paul G. Allen Foundation
His giving is channeled through the Paul G. Allen Foundation, and through direct gifts, inlcuding $26 million to Washington State University for the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health.
Allen Institute for Brain Science
In 2003, he founded the Allen Institute for Brain Science to accelerate understanding of the human brain in health and disease, supporting the Seattle non-prophit with $500 million to date.
A decade later, he launched the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence to explore critical questions in AI.
His vision has forwarded projects such as leading the massive redevelopment of Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood, founding three museums, and funding the first privately-backed effort to successfully put a civilian in suborbital space.
Allen founded Stratolaunch Systems which is a space transportation center specializing in air launch to orbit, with its corperate headquarters located in Huntsville, Alabama.
The start up will build a mobile launch system with three primary components; a carrier aircraft, a multistage launch vehicle, and a mating and integration system, with the first flight test of the carrier aircraft, expected in 2016.
Development costs were estimated to be $300 million, as of 2011.
Allen Institute for Cell Science
He also founded the Allen Institute for Cell Science on December 8, 2014.
The Institute is modelled in large part on the Allen Institute for Brain Science and received the same initial financial commitment from Allen-$100 million over five years. The two Institutes are shared among the same building.
The focus of the Institute will be "How does information in our genes become living cells, and what goes wrong when a disease affects those cells?"
As of January 2015, he was estimated to be the 51st richest person in the world, with an estimated wealth of $17.5 billion.
$7.5 Million Awarded
On April 30, 2015, the Paul G. Allen Foundation awarded $7.5 million to six groups of researchers in the neuroscience field as part of the most recent Allen Distinguished Investigator (ADI) Program grant, a three-year grant program that supports scientists' research.
Use of Money
The recipients will use the funding to develop better ways to grow mature human brain cells in the lab.
Doing so will help scientists understand more about what makes a brain healthy, and also provide more insight into diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.