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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

August 16, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Obit: Craig Watjen, early Microsoft accountant, Mariners co-owner

Craig Watjen, a musician and baseball fan who started Microsoft’s accounting department back in 1981, died Friday of cancer.

Watjen retired in 1990 and became a major philanthropist in the area, supporting Seattle’s symphony and opera and donating an amazing pipe organ to Benaroya Hall. After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, he donated $50 million to help found the Light Sciences Oncology research institute in Bellevue.

Bill Gates commented in an obituary we posted here.

“He was key to moving Microsoft forward in the early days,” Gates said in a statement Monday. “I valued his judgment, his insights and his unassuming manner in his work.”

Comments | Topics: Craig Watjen, Microsoft

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