Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates remembered fellow tech Paul Allen pioneer with a touching essay on gatesnotes.com called “What I Loved About Paul Allen.”
In his missive, Gates, who launched his multibillion dollar company with Allen in 1975, refers to his first business partner as “one of my oldest friends” and recalls meeting the then-high school freshman while he himself was a seventh-grader.
“I looked up to him right away,” Gates, 62, wrote. Allen died Monday from cancer. He was 65.
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Gates, who is reportedly worth nearly $98 billion, recalled noticing right away that Allen was “really tall” and a genius with computers.
"Later, he also had a very cool beard, which I could never pull off," Gates wrote.
According to Gates, Allen knew 50 years ago that cyber technology would grow to become more powerful before anyone else had imagined personal computers.
In 1974, Allen showed Gates a computer magazine featuring the Altair 8800 unit and said, “This is happening without us!”
That’s when Gates decided to drop out of Harvard University and go into business with Allen. In addition to calling his old pal “the most knowledgeable person I knew,” Gates remembers Allen as being the more hip of the two.
“Paul was cooler than I was,” Gates wrote. “He was really into Jimi Hendrix as a teenager, and I remember him playing ‘Are You Experienced?’ for me.”
Allen also got Gates into basketball by taking him to Portland Trailblazers games and explaining the intricacies of the game. Allen bought the team in 1988 for $70 million.
Gates praised Allen as a champion of philanthropy.
“Paul deserved more time in life. He would have made the most of it,” Gates concluded in his essay. “I will miss him tremendously.”