Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who convinced school friend Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard to start the company, died at the age of 65 due to cancer complications, Reuters reports.

Allen left Microsoft in 1983 following a dispute with Gates, but kept a share of the company which allowed him to become very wealthy.

His death was caused by complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to a statement by his family.

Allen donated more than USD 1.5 billion to philanthropic projects over his lifetime and pledged to donate more than half of his wealth to charity. He helped develop Seattle’s South Lake Union tech hub, the home of Amazon, and the headquarters of the Allen Institute for Brain Science.

Bill Gates reacted to Allen’s death by saying, “I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends.”


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