Paul Allen, the man who owns both the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers, has passed away at the age of 65. The announcement of his passing came from Vulcan Inc., a privately held company that he founded in 1986.
Allen's sister, Jody, released a statement through the company.
"My brother 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," Jody Allen said in a statement. "Paul's family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern. 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's death comes exactly two weeks after he publicly announced that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for the third time in his life. Allen had also been diagnosed with the cancer in both 1982 and 2009, but successfully battled it both times. According to his family, the 65-year-old died due to complications from the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Allen became a household name as the co-founder of Microsoft, but was also a familiar face to sports fans around the country. The billionaire has owned the Trail Blazers since 1988 and the Seahawks since 1997. Under Allen's ownership, the Seahawks became a perennial power in the NFL, making the playoffs in 12 of the 21 full seasons that he owned the team. To put that in perspective, the Seahawks made the playoffs only four times in the 20 seasons before he bought the team.
The Seahawks played in three Super Bowls while Allen owned the team. If Allen hadn't purchased the Seahawks, there's a chance that the team could have ended up in Southern California. A move to Anaheim was all but a done deal before Allen stepped in. In a statement, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell noted how instrumental Allen was to keeping football in Seattle.
"Paul Allen was the driving force behind keeping the NFL in the Pacific Northwest," Goodell said. "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.
With an estimated net worth of $20 billion at the time of his death, Allen was the richest owner in the NFL. Of course, Allen spent a lot that money on philanthropic causes. According to the Seahawks website, pledged $30 million in 2017 to help the homeless crisis in Seattle. Overall, Allen is estimated to have donated more than $2 billion to philanthropic causes.
On the Trail Blazers' end, the team made it to the postseason in 23 of the 30 seasons that Allen owned the team, a total that includes two appearances in the NBA Finals.
We miss you.— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) October 15, 2018
We thank you.
We love you. pic.twitter.com/rxkn1IjJ0R
Through his company, Vulcan Sports & Entertainment, Allen was also part of the ownership group for the Seattle Sounders of the MLS.
The 65-year-old passed away in his hometown of Seattle.