The billionaire Microsoft co-founder and owner of the Seattle Seahawks says the non-Hodgkin lymphoma he was first treated for in 2009 has returned.

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Editor’s note: Paul Allen died Monday afternoon, Oct. 15, 2018, two weeks after revealing this cancer diagnosis. Below is the original story about his announcement and treatment plans.


Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder and owner of a range of Seattle business and philanthropic interests, is again undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the billionaire said in a statement on Monday.

Allen, 65 years old, was first treated for the cancer in 2009, and it subsequently went into remission. It was a similar form of cancer that led to his early retirement from Microsoft in 1983.

“My team of doctors has begun treatment of the disease and I plan on fighting this aggressively,” Allen said in a statement. “A lot has happened in medicine since I overcame this disease in 2009. My doctors are optimistic that I will see good results from the latest therapies, as am I.”

Since stepping down from Microsoft, which Allen founded in 1975 with childhood friend Bill Gates, Allen used the wealth generated by his stake in the software giant to amass holdings from sports teams to philanthropic initiatives, a massive luxury yacht, and museums — a portfolio tied together primarily by his eclectic interests.

They include the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers, research outfits studying topics including artificial intelligence and brain science, and Vulcan, a large owner and developer of Seattle real estate that played a pivotal role in the Amazon-led redevelopment of the South Lake Union district.

Allen said he would continue to stay involved in those operations while undergoing treatment. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma starts in certain white blood cells that are part of the body’s immune system, according to the American Cancer Society, and can be found anywhere in the body where such immune cells are found, including concentrations in lymph nodes, some organs and the digestive system.

After recovering from chemotherapy at his Mercer Island home following his prior bout with the disease, Allen stepped up his involvement with his Vulcan.

He served as chief executive from 2014, when his sister, Jody Allen, left that post, until the hiring of Bill Hilf, Vulcan’s current chief executive, in 2016.

At the time, Allen said he would continue to direct Vulcan’s sports initiatives, aerospace work, and research.

A reorganization announced last week gave former Blazers chief executive Chris McGowan oversight of the Seahawks, as well as Vulcan’s entertainment entities, including the Upstream Music Fest and the MoPOP museum at Seattle Center.

“We know that Paul has been through this before and has battled like a real warrior last time and made it through it and the signals are for a real positive outcome,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said at his weekly press conference on Monday. “But we are all pulling for him, too, and grateful for all that he stands for in this community and for all of us.”

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive, expressed similar sentiment on Twitter.

“Paul, All of us at Microsoft are standing with you and are here to lend you strength in all the days ahead,” he said

More on Paul Allen:

Paul Allen invests $125 million to teach computers common sense

Seattle billionaire Paul Allen bankrolls deep ocean climate-change project

$46 million complex funded by Paul Allen will house 94 families in South Seattle

Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100,000 to help Republicans keep control of U.S. House

A talk with Paul Allen: Drama at Microsoft, adventures in his second act

Seattle Times sports reporter Bob Condotta contributed to this report.