Philanthropy is the inclination or effort to enhance the well-being of human beings, especially of those who are poor or needy. This is done by charitable aid or may be through donations to orphanage, old age homes etc. Bill Gates is already known to be a very charitable man. However, there’s another such kind heart, that too in Microsoft itself. Paul Allen, who along with Gates found the company in the 70’s, is the one referred to here. He had left Microsoft in the 80’s and had officially resigned from his designation of a board member in 2000. His resignation was partly because at that time he was being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease and he has also quite recently endured chemotherapy to fight non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
He can definitely be hailed as a modern day philanthropist as he is always donating money open handedly, and that too, towards a whole range of different causes. Finally, Allen has benevolently declared to leave most of his riches to those who have none, when he dies.
He was, on the other hand a man known to enjoy his wealth. Allen, who is rated by Forbes magazine as the world’s 37th richest person also is the proud owner of the one of the largest private yachts in the world, a huge and splendid vessel named Octopus, mostly found moored in Monte Carlo. He also owns his hometown American football team, the Seattle Seahawks, which he bought way back in 1997.
An avid science fiction enthusiast, he owns the chair of Captain Kirk on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, shown in the famous movie series Star Trek.
Paul Allen, even before this declaration was made, was considered as a dedicated modern day philanthropist. His donation towards the University of Washington amounts to millions and millions of dollars. He has also made multi million dollar donations to various medical organizations and charities. Allen’s total donations are estimated to be around the astounding figure of $1 billion, but no one thought that the Microsoft co-founder would be graciously donating even more than one half of fortune, guessed to be around $13.5 billion to charitable purposes.
Here it is worth mentioning that Warren Buffett and Bill Gates ,two other super rich billionaires have donated a good part of their own fortune to the Gates Foundation, a charity that mainly targets removal of diseases in the developing nations. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have made a plea known as ‘giving pledge’, to the country’s billionaires to open mindedly donate at least half of their money towards charitable purposes. Allen’s pledge seems to be in response to this urge. And why only him, several of the other billionaires of America also have made similar promise as Allen, including John and Ann Doerr and Eli and Edythe Broad.
A public statement is quite rare, especially when it comes from Allen himself, but the 57-year-old said that he was making his objectives clear and the statement is to honor the 20th anniversary of his own family foundation.
“I want to announce that my philanthropic efforts will continue after my lifetime,” he said. He went on to add,
“I’ve planned for many years now that the majority of my estate will be left to philanthropy to continue the work of the Foundation and to fund non-profit scientific research.”