Editor’s note: Seahawks owner Paul Allen passed away on Oct. 15, 2018 at age 65 from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
PAUL ALLEN | FOUNDER, CHAIRMAN | AGE: 65
Education: Attended Washington State but dropped out after two years.
How They Acquired the Franchise: Allen signed an agreement in 1996, giving him an exclusive, 14-month opportunity to purchase the Seahawks from real estate mogul Ken Behring. The deal had several contingencies, the most important of which was community financial assistance for a new football stadium in Seattle. A year later, following a commitment from taxpayers to help fund what would become CenturyLink Field, Allen assumed full ownership of the team at a price of $194 million.
Franchise Valuation: $2.425 billion (per Forbes in 2017)
Net Worth: $20 billion (per Forbes in 2018)
How They Made Their Money: Allen co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates. He also owns the Portland Trail Blazers and a stake in the Seattle Sounders of MLS.
Political Donations: Traditionally a generous democratic party donor, Allen has more evenly divided his donations between Democrats and Republicans in recent years, including $27K to the Hillary Victory Fund in 2016 and $5K to Team Ryan, a super PAC aligned with Paul Ryan, in ’17.
In the Owner’s Words: “We live in an age of big challenges,” Allen said. “But I choose optimism. With the right team, anything is possible.”