[Read a review of “Idea Man.”]
“They were bemoaning my recent lack of production and discussing how they might dilute my Microsoft equity by issuing options to themselves and other shareholders,” Mr. Allen wrote.
But Mr. Allen held his ground and his shares.
Mr. Gates said in a statement on Monday: “From our early days together at Lakeside School, through our partnership in the creation of Microsoft, to some of our joint philanthropic projects over the years, Paul was a true partner and dear friend. Personal computing would not have existed without him.”
As Microsoft became the dominant personal computer software company, Mr. Allen, as well as Mr. Gates, who was the face of the company, became immensely wealthy. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he had a net worth of $26.1 billion.
He was also an investor and a generous philanthropist.
Mr. Allen donated more than $2 billion toward nonprofit groups dedicated to the advancement of science, technology, education, the environment and the arts. Among the scientific research organizations he funded were the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2003 and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in 2014.
And while some of his philanthropy was global, like a passion for ending elephant poaching, much of his post-Microsoft work centered on Seattle, where he became a transformative force behind many of the city’s leading cultural institutions.
[Read more about Mr. Allen’s transformation of Seattle.]
He restored the old Cinerama movie theater to modern standards seemingly ideal for watching science-fiction films, and he hired Frank Gehry to design the Museum of Pop Culture, which Mr. Allen founded in 2000 under the original name of the Experience Music Project. The wild, undulating building displayed items revealing Mr. Allen’s cultural obsessions, including guitars owned by Jimi Hendrix and Captain Kirk’s command chair from the 1960s television series “Star Trek.”