Paul Allen, the owner of the Seahawks and Trail Blazers, has died at the age of 65.
Allen announced that his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma had returned at the beginning of October, nine years after he first battled the disease.
Allen’s sister, Jody, said in a statement he was “a remarkable individual on every level.”
“While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much-loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend. Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern,” she said. “For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends. At this time of loss and grief for us – and so many others – we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day.”
Allen has owned the Portland Trail Blazers since 1988 and the Seattle Seahawks since 1996. Allen’s Vulcan Sports & Entertainment is part of the ownership team of the Seattle Sounders FC, a franchise that started in 2009 at CenturyLink Field — a stadium also controlled by Allen.
“Paul Allen was the driving force behind keeping the NFL in the Pacific Northwest,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “His vision led to the construction of CenturyLink Field and the building of a team that played in three Super Bowls, winning the championship in Super Bowl XLVIII. The raising of the ’12th Man’ flag at the start of every Seahawks home game was Paul’s tribute to the extraordinary fan base in the Seattle community.
“His passion for the game, combined with his quiet determination, led to a model organization on and off the field. He worked tirelessly alongside our medical advisers to identify new ways to make the game safer and protect our players from unnecessary risk. I personally valued Paul’s advice on subjects ranging from collective bargaining to bringing technology to our game. Our league is better for Paul Allen having been a part of it and the entire NFL sends its deepest condolences to Paul’s family and to the Seahawks organization.”
Allen was also the co-founder of Microsoft with Bill Gates, which helped promote the advancement of technology within both the NFL and NBA.
“Paul Allen was the ultimate trail blazer — in business, philanthropy and in sports,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “As one of the longest-tenured owners in the NBA, Paul brought a sense of discovery and vision to every league matter large and small. He was generous with his time on committee work, and his expertise helped lay the foundation for the league’s growth internationally and our embrace of new technologies. He was a valued voice who challenged assumptions and conventional wisdom and one we will deeply miss as we start a new season without him. Our condolences go to his family, friends and the entire Trail Blazers organization.”
Once his cancer returned, Allen stepped down as the CEO of Microsoft to focus on his treatment.
According to the latest rankings by Forbes, Allen is the 44th-richest person in the world with a net worth of approximately $20.2 billion.