Microsoft Billionaire and Aviation Entrepreneur Paul Allen Dead at 65

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Microsoft co-founder and aviation entrepreneur Paul Allen died Monday after a struggle with cancer. He was 65. Allen is well known in the tech industry as a co-founder of Microsoft in the 1970s, along with Bill Gates. But he had wide-ranging interests including major business ventures in aviation, most recently the Stratolaunch multi-engine jet designed as an airborne launching platform for orbital payloads, a project that‘s expected to enter service in 2020.

Allen also had a prized collection of military aircraft housed at the Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, Washington. The collection totals 31 aircraft and includes a Spitfire and a MiG-29. In an interview with Business Insider, Allen said he had a lifelong interest in aviation. "I'd spend hours reading about the engines in some of those planes," Allen told Forbes. "I was trying to understand how things worked—how things were put together, everything from airplane engines to rockets and nuclear power plants. I was just intrigued by the complexity and the power and the grace of these things flying."

In addition to his technical expertise and aviation interest, Allen was also an accomplished guitarist and even established his own museum dedicated to rock ‘n roll. 

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