News has just broken that Microsoft co-founder and Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen has died. He was 65.
Early reports say that Allen died from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. His sister, Jody Allen, released a statement that can be viewed in the tweet below.
While based in Seattle, Allen's presence has been continually felt in Portland, where he was owner of our biggest sports team, the Portland Trail Blazers, and his Vulcan company also owns the arena where the NBA team plays, the Moda Center. His presence in Seattle is even more substantial: He owned massive tracts of real estate, along with the Seattle Seahawks, the Seattle Sounders soccer team, and the refurbished Cinerama movie theater, perhaps the most state-of-the-art movie theater in the Northwest. He also cofounded Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture (formerly the Experience Music Project) and Everett's Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum.
Allen's philanthropy was substantial, but he remained a figure of some controversy. Recently it was reported he gave $100,000 to Republican election interests.
Allen had a long history with cancer: He was initially diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1982, but beat that disease with radiation treatment. He was then diagnosed with Hodgkin's non-lymphoma in 2009, also treated successfully until it resurfaced earlier this month.
Allen was unmarried and without children; it is, of course, far too early to speculate on what will happen to his ownership of the Trail Blazers franchise and Vulcan's other holdings, although one assumes a man of his wealth made provisional arrangements for his estate. Our thoughts are with Allen's family, friends, and co-workers during this time.