Investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen has owned the Portland Trail Blazers for 26 years, and during that time the Trail Blazers have achieved at levels that few NBA teams have surpassed. Just one season after Allen acquired the National Basketball Association franchise from Larry Weinberg, the Trail Blazers made it to the NBA Finals and were back in the championship round two years later. In the years since Allen acquired the team, the Trail Blazers have posted an impressive 1,171-817 record (a 58.9 winning percentage) and have been in the playoffs 19 times.
Allen has spent his career tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Through both for-profit and philanthropic investments, he has sparked important developments and innovations in the areas of science, technology, education, conservation, the arts and community improvement. He first made his mark when he co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, and he continues to be an innovator in the world of business and technology to this day. He is founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc., which oversees his philanthropic and business interests, and he owns the 2014 Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League, and is part of the primary ownership group for the Seattle Sounders FC.
With lifetime giving totaling more than $1.5 billion, Allen is included among the world’s leading philanthropists, and has pledged to donate the majority of his fortune to charity. His giving is channeled through The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, which supports innovative initiatives that have the potential to make significant, measureable impacts. He also gives directly, including $26 million in 2010 to Washington State University’s School for Global Animal Health, and more recently, launching Tackle Ebola, a campaign to raise awareness of the epidemic in the United States and provide a clear platform through which individuals can learn, donate and participate. Allen has committed significant resources to provide aid organizations with the supplies, on-the-ground logistical and transport support, and qualified volunteers needed to fight the disease.
In addition to his business and philanthropic efforts, Allen has a true love of science. He created the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle in 2003 to accelerate understanding of the human brain in health and disease. The Institute has generated groundbreaking online public resources, including interactive atlases of the mouse and human brain that have become indispensable research tools for scientists worldwide. In 2012, Allen pledged $300 million to significantly expand the Institute’s scientific programs. In 2013, he launched the Allen Institute for the Artificial Intelligence to explore critical questions in AI.
Inspired by growing up in the era of the Space Race, Allen underscored his passion for rocketry by sponsoring the development of SpaceShipOne, the first privately funded spacecraft to successfully attain suborbital space. In 2011, Allen got back into the space business with the formation of Stratolaunch Systems, which is developing an innovative airborne launch system.
He is also one of the great conservationists of our time. Responding to the highest rate of elephant mortality in history, he is advancing The Great Elephant Census, the largest pan-African aerial survey since the 1970s, which will provide new information critical to the species’ future survival.
Learn more about Allen online at www.paulallen.com.