How is Paul Allen connected to Statesman Nelson Mandela? He gets close with a little help from his friends………… 

Statesman Nelson Mandela, a Nobel peace prize winner, former South African President and perhaps the most widely respected figure in the struggle against South African apartheid, has at least within a 2-degree connection to Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen.

For some great articles about Mandela, see    and 

So many of Allen’s closest friends are involved in philanthropic and humanitarian projects supported by Mandela that it is very likely that Allen has at least met Mandela if not more—perhaps much more.

 But it is well documented that Allen’s friends passionately share some of the same humanitarian goals as Mandela, oftentimes working towards them side by side with the Nobel peace prize winner. Here are a few of Paul’s friends who have a close connection with Nelson Mandela: 

a)       Former U.S. President, Bill Clinton

b)       Musician Peter Gabriel

c)       Musician Dave Stewart

d)       Musician Bono from U2

e)       Billionaire Richard Branson

f)         Microsoft Co-founder, Bill Gates 

And here (briefly) are the connections, first between Paul Allen’s friends and Nelson Mandela:

 A) President Clinton….. 

The former U.S. President has had a great deal of contact with Nelson Mandela, both as President and since he left the Oval Office, for numerous humanitarian reasons, including the battle against the AIDS epidemic. Just last week the former President headed a summit along with Mandela that raised over $7.3 billion dollars towards combating pressing world problems like disease, poverty and global warming.


B, C, and D) Musicians Peter Gabriel, Dave Stewart and Bono from U2: 


has a long history of philanthropy, and has been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts with Mandela.  

All three musicians joined Nelson Mandela in the fight against AIDS in 2004 by throwing a concert. 



 Mandela personally asked Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics to write a song for the concert. He did, and sang the song he wrote, “Long Walk to Freedom” onstage with U2’s Bono. 

Not only does Peter Gabriel have musical connections to Mandela, but he also founded an organization called “Witness” in an effort to combat human rights abuses around the globe, something that Mandela, imprisoned for 27 years for his stance on apartheid, can certainly identify with. Gabriel also wrote a song, called “Biko” which was the first pop song ever written about the affects of apartheid.  


Gillian Caldwell, from Gabriel’s “Witness” organization, wrote a blog from the World Economic Forum last January talking about Gabriel and Nelson Mandela (and Richard Branson) and their formation of a “Council of Elders” –a community brought together to address some of the most urgent problems in the world today: 

See…. ( From the article—down the page a bit….) 

“Peter Gabriel and I spent some time talking after our meeting with Akamai about something he and Richard Branson and Nelson Mandela are planning, which will be a kind of global council of elders, to utilize the wisdom and experience of elders in the global and local communities to address some of the most pressing problems we are facing in the world today.”

 E) And that brings us to Billionaire Richard Branson, who has played an integral part in the formation of this “Council of Elders” (that also included Nelson Mandela). 

See also:

 F) And last but not least, there is Bill Gates,

who has recently devoted his life and his fortune to combating poverty, AIDS and other life-threatening diseases, and who has focused a significant amount of his efforts towards South Africa, where those diseases have caused great hardship and suffering to the people of that country. He has had numerous contacts with Nelson Mandela due to his philanthropic efforts. 



And now, here is the relationship between Paul Allen and the people whom I’ve listed above: 

 A) President Clinton  

Has often been a guest aboard Paul Allen’s yachts and parties, including a trip to South Africa this last summer with Bill Gates. Later on, all 3 came back to the U.S. and attended a support rally for fellow Democrat Maria Cantwell in Washington State.  


B) Peter Gabriel  

and Allen go way back, even working together on multimedia projects in the mid 90’s, back when those kinds of ideas were ahead of their time.  

Gabriel has been a friend of Allen’s for years, often attending parties and even sometimes performing with him onstage. 


A couple of weeks ago they were dining together with Sardinian dignitaries aboard Paul’s yacht, Octopus. 


C) Bono 

 is also a frequent guest of Allen’s, especially aboard his yachts.  Paul was actually the one who introduced U2’s Bono to Bill Gates.  

D) Bill Gates

  and Paul Allen were childhood friends who co-founded Microsoft, one of the most successful companies of all time. They are still very good friends.  

 For more information, see  

E) Richard Branson 

 is also a good friend of Allen’s. After SpaceShipOne won the X-prize, Branson bought the rights from Paul Allen to build a fleet of spaceships from SpaceShipOne’s technology, and founded a spaceline called “Virgin Galactic.”  He intends to use the ships to take civilian passengers for a ride into space starting in 2008 . 

F) And finally, Dave Stewart 

 is probably one of Paul Allen’s best friends, someone who has been around for many years.  In the 90’s he attended Allen’s first celebrity soiree at his Villa in France in 1996 and has been present at many other parties and trips, including a costume ball in Venice that David Geffen once said was the best party he’d ever been to, “bar none.”  He’s often performed with Allen at his parties, including the 2006 Superbowl afterparty, where guests, including Dan Aykroyd and Seahawks Defensive Tackle Craig Terrill, performed onstage. 

(see also “Answers to The Blues Brothers”) 

In addition, he and Allen founded “The Hospital” at Covent Garden in London, England, a creative arts center that is known for its exclusive club and its celebrity guests….. 

……..such as Brad Pitt 


And, of course, Scarlett Johansson……

 of  “The Perfect Score”……:-) 

Stay tuned for “Fun with Numbers”……………………