Billionaire Paul Allen passed away on Monday at the age of 65. While the statement on his website from his family revealed the Portland Trailblazers and Seattle Seahawks owner died from “complications related to non-Hodgkins lymphoma,” his exact cause of death had yet to be revealed.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our founder Paul G. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and noted technologist, philanthropist, community builder, conservationist, musician and supporter of the arts,” the official statement read.
According to the Microsoft co-founder’s death certificate, obtained by TMZ, he passed away at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle at 12:35 p.m. The certificate lists his cause of death as septic shock and immunosuppression. Both complications of his cancer. His certificate also revealed he preferred burial over cremation.
It was just three weeks ago that Allen announced his cancer had returned after being in remission for just shy of a decade. “My doctors are optimistic,” the billionaire penned in his announcement on Twitter.
What is Septic Shock?
Septic shock is one of the three states of sepsis, according to Healthline. Sepsis is the result of an aggressive and untreated infection that can be life-threatening. When a person goes into septic shock, their blood pressure drops. This, in turn, can cause a stroke as well as the failure of different organs including the heart.
In the United States, septic shock is one of the more common causes of death in intensive care units.
Microsoft Cofounder, Paul Allen, died from sepsis… https://t.co/1h2etbAKlq
— Rory Staunton Fdn. (@rorystauntonfdn) October 20, 2018
What is Immunosuppression?
As the name suggests, immunosuppression is the suppression of a person’s immune system. Immunosuppression can be done intentionally with a medication in preparation for a surgery, such as an organ transplant, according to the National Cancer Institute. It can also be the result of an infection or an illness.
Contracting any type of infection while a person’s immune system is suppressed can be life-threatening as the body has no course of action for fighting off the infection.
Some personal news: Recently, I learned the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma I battled in 2009 has returned. I’ve begun treatment & my doctors are optimistic that I will see a good result. Appreciate the support I’ve received & count on it as I fight this challenge. https://t.co/ZolxS8lni5
— Paul Allen (@PaulGAllen) October 1, 2018
What is Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?
According to the American Cancer Society, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (or NHL for short) is a particularly confusing cancer because there are so many types of NHL. Attacking the human body through the lymph system, this cancer can form anywhere lymph tissues exist including the spleen, bone marrow, digestive tract, thymus, tonsils, and adenoids. Which type of NHL a person suffers from ultimately decides what type of treatment the person receives.
Following his death, condolences from CEOs of several major companies poured in on social media.
Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, praised Allen for his passion and drive.
Very sad to hear of Paul Allen’s passing. His passion for invention and pushing forward inspired so many. He was relentless to the end. My heart goes out to Paul’s family and friends.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) October 15, 2018
Apple CEO, Tim Cook, believed the world “lost a force of good” when Paul passed away.
Our industry has lost a pioneer and our world has lost a force for good. We send our deepest condolences to Paul’s friends, the Allen family and everyone at Microsoft.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) October 15, 2018
Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, said the world lost a “technology pioneer.”
We lost a great technology pioneer today – thank you Paul Allen for your immense contributions to the world through your work and your philanthropy. Thoughts are with his family and the entire Microsoft community.
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) October 15, 2018
Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft, recalled Allen as an “inspiring” and “bright” person.
Paul was a truly wonderful, bright and inspiring person—- and a great friend. I will miss him https://t.co/HYhtgZGo8C
— Steve Ballmer (@Steven_Ballmer) October 15, 2018
Never married and never having any children, Paul leaves behind a net worth exceeding $20 billion.