Investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen creates and advances world-class projects and high-impact initiatives that change and improve the way people live, learn, work, and experience the world through arts, education, entertainment, sports, business, and technology. He co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, remained the company's chief technologist until he left in 1983, and is the founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc. and chairman of Charter Communications.
In addition, Allen's multibillion dollar investment portfolio includes diverse holdings in real estate, technology, media, and other companies. In 2004 Allen funded SpaceShipOne, the first privately backed effort to successfully put a civilian in suborbital space and winner of the Ansari X-Prize competition. Allen also owns the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League, the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association, and is part of the primary ownership group for the Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle's new Major League Soccer team.
With lifetime giving totaling nearly $1 billion, Allen has been named one of the top philanthropists in America. Allen's philanthropy takes many forms. His family foundation, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, supports nonprofits working to strengthen communities in the Pacific Northwest. In 2003, Allen contributed $75 million to create the Allen Institute for Brain Science, a research facility dedicated to performing innovative basic research on the brain and disseminating its discoveries to researchers around the world. In 2006 the Allen Institute completed its inaugural project, the Allen Brain Atlas, a Web-based, three-dimensional map of gene expression in the mouse brain. Detailing more than 21,000 genes at the cellular level, the Atlas, which is freely accessible online, continues to lead scientists to new insights and propel the field of neuroscience dramatically forward.
Allen is also founder of Experience Music Project, Seattle's critically acclaimed interactive music museum; the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame; the Flying Heritage Collection, an assemblage of rare World War II aircraft restored to flying condition and shared with the public; and Vulcan Productions, the independent film production company behind the award-winning feature Hard Candy; the Evolution series on PBS; The Blues, executive-produced by Martin Scorsese in conjunction with Allen and Jody Patton; the Emmy Award-winning Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge; and the Peabody Award-winning Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial.