Microsoft Co-Founder Pledges Billions to Philanthropy

Paul Lilly

Paul Allen, who along with Bill Gates started a little company called Microsoft, and who has been treated for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, announced on Thursday that he will be giving away more than half of his estimated $13.5 billion fortune to philanthropy.

"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 nonprofit scientific research, like the ground breaking work being done at the Allen Institute for Brain Science," Allen said.

According to Forbes magazine, Allen is the 37th richest man in the world. He's already handed out more than $1 billion to various foundations and nonprofit organizations he created in the past two decades.

Allen also joins a growing number of wealthy philanthropists making public commitments to give away their fortunes, partly in response to the urging of Bill Gates and Warren E. Buffet, who last month started a program called The Giving Pledge designed to encourage billionaires to devote half of their fortunes to charity.

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