Allen to donate half his $13.5B to charity

July 16, 2010 at 3:36 PM
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SEATTLE, July 16 (UPI) -- Paul Allen, co-founder of U.S.-based Microsoft Corp., says he plans to give more than half his estimated $13.5 billion fortune to charity.

Allen joins other wealthy philanthropists making public commitments to donate at the urging of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, whose The Giving Pledge campaign seeks to persuade U.S. billionaires to donate half their fortunes to charity, The New York Times reported Friday.

Allen has given away more than $1 billion through foundations and non-profit organizations he created, the Times said.

Much of his charitable giving has focused on the Pacific Northwest, especially two non-profits he founded. The Allen Institute for Brain Science aims to advance brain research by delivering data and tools online free to scientists worldwide. The Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum, showcasing two of Allen's biggest interests, has become a major tourist attraction in Seattle.

"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 like the ground-breaking work being done at the Allen Institute for Brain Science," Allen said in a statement.

Allen has appeared on the Philanthropy 50, the Chronicle of Philanthropy's annual list of the nation's 50 largest donors, eight times and ranked No. 11 last year, donating $85 million.

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