Paul Allen’s Cause Of Death Revealed: Septic Shock & Immunosuppression

The billionaire co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers passed away on Monday.

Paul Allen wearing a Seahawks baseball cap
Steve Dykes / Getty Images

The billionaire co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers passed away on Monday.

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.

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.

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.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, believed the world “lost a force of good” when Paul passed away.

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, said the world lost a “technology pioneer.”

Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft, recalled Allen as an “inspiring” and “bright” person.

Never married and never having any children, Paul leaves behind a net worth exceeding $20 billion.