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New: In Memory of Paul Allen

Posted on Oct 19, 2018

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Seattle Seahawks, passed away this past week. Allen battled non-Hodgkin lymphoma off and on for several years.

Allen is best known for starting the personal computer revolution. That desktop computer or laptop you’re reading this blog on and can’t imagine life without? Yeah, Allen basically made these machines possible for us.

Born in Seattle, Allen attended Lakeside School, where he met his friend and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. According to the school’s tribute, the two friends “got their start in computing while at Lakeside, working from a school teletype terminal and logging the 10,000 hours of practice that would lead to the personal computer revolution. Few on the faculty understood what they were doing, but all were quick to recognize the value of their work…”

Allen lived with his mother (how sweet is that?) in a sprawling mansion complex on Mercer Island. However, despite his wealth, Allen was known around the Puget Sound as a generous man who donated to social services and loved sports and arts. After his passing, the tributes and stories have been rolling in. Here are a few of our favorite stories, large and small, about the local contributions that made Allen so wonderful.

1. He saved the Seattle Seahawks.

In 1997, Allen bought the Seahawks to prevent them from moving to Los Angeles. Can you imagine Seattle’s beloved team playing down south? We can’t either. Around this same time, Allen also led the construction of CenturyLink Field.

2. He helped the Lummi tribe save critical tracts of redwoods.

Allen was clearly on a roll in the late 90s. Not only did he save the Seahawks, he also gave millions of dollars to allow the Nature Conservancy and Lummi Indian Nation to buy the 2,240-acre Arlecho Creek Forest in Whatcom County. His donation is one of the largest environmental gifts in Washington State.

3. He donated to the University of Washington and Washington State University.

Allen also gave a sizeable amount of money to UW’s computer science programs. Because of his generous donation, the university was able to elevate its computer science department to a school, which they named the Paul G. Allen School for Computer Science & Engineering.

Allen also donated to Washington State University’s animal research departments. As a result, the university’s Paul G. Allen Center for Global Animal Health was the first global health research center to focus on how improving animal health can improve human health.

Oh, and important side notes: Allen contributed $100 million to stop an ebola outbreak in West Africa and funded undersea exploration for animal research.

4. He saved an Orcas Island preschool.

Last but not least, Allen’s donations to The Orcas Island Children’s House allowed the school to cover final construction on the building, as well as furniture, kitchen supplies, and toys. The preschool’s former director Terri Mason told the Seattle Times, “Beyond all the big and impressive things he did, that was something that touched us in our little community.”

Paul Allen’s generosity is only one of the elements that makes the Puget Sound area so wonderful. To chat with the Pickett Street team about buying or selling real estate in this region, reach out to them at 425-502-5397 or

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