John McAfee

John McAfee
John McAfee by Gage Skidmore.jpg
McAfee at Politicon in 2016
Born
John David McAfee

(1945-09-18)18 September 1945
Died23 June 2021(2021-06-23) (aged 75)
Cause of deathSuicide[1]
Nationality
  • British
  • American
EducationRoanoke College (BA)
Occupations
Known forFounder of McAfee Corp.
Political partyLibertarian (before 2015, 2016–2021)
Other political
affiliations
Cyber (2015–2016)
Spouses
Unnamed
(divorced)
Judy Chambliss
(div. 2002)
Janice Dyson
(m. 2013)

John David McAfee (/ˈmækəf/ MAK-ə-fee;[2][3] 18 September 1945 – 23 June 2021) was a British-American computer programmer, businessman, and two-time presidential candidate who unsuccessfully sought the Libertarian Party nomination for president of the United States in 2016 and in 2020. In 1987, he wrote the first commercial anti-virus software, founding McAfee Associates to sell his creation. He resigned in 1994 and sold his remaining stake in the company.[4] McAfee became the company's most vocal critic in later years, urging consumers to uninstall the company's anti-virus software, which he characterized as bloatware. He disavowed the company's continued use of his name in branding, a practice that has persisted in spite of a short-lived corporate rebrand attempt under Intel ownership.

McAfee's fortunes plummeted in the financial crisis of 2007–2008. After leaving McAfee Associates, he founded the companies Tribal Voice (makers of the PowWow chat program), QuorumEx, and Future Tense Central, among others, and was involved in leadership positions in the companies Everykey, MGT Capital Investments, and Luxcore, among others. His personal and business interests included smartphone apps, cryptocurrency, yoga, light-sport aircraft[5] and recreational drug use. He resided for a number of years in Belize, but returned to the United States in 2013 while wanted in Belize for questioning on suspicion of murder.[6]

In October 2020, McAfee was arrested in Spain over U.S. tax evasion charges.[7] U.S. federal prosecutors brought criminal and civil charges alleging that McAfee had failed to file income taxes over a four-year period.[8][9] On 23 June 2021, he was found dead due to an apparent suicide by hanging in his prison cell near Barcelona shortly after the Spanish National Court authorized his extradition to the U.S.[10][11][12] His death generated speculation and conspiracy theories about the possibility that he was murdered.[13] McAfee's wife, Janice McAfee, said she did not believe McAfee committed suicide, and claimed the suicide note was a forgery.[14][15]

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference cod was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ "FEC Form 2" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 February 2021. Retrieved 9 September 2015. John David McAfee. Office Sought: Presidential
  3. ^ Burstein, Nanette (director) (21 September 2016). Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee | Official Trailer | A Film by Nanette Burstein. Showtime. Archived from the original on 30 October 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  4. ^ Bowdeya Tweh; Robert McMillan (23 June 2021). "John McAfee, Antivirus Software Creator, Is Found Dead in Spanish Jail". Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones. p. 1. Archived from the original on 24 June 2021. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference Fastcompany was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ "John McAfee ordered to pay $25 million over neighbour's murder". Archived from the original on 23 June 2021. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  7. ^ "Tech millionaire John McAfee arrested in Spain for US tax evasion". Evening Standard. 6 October 2020. Archived from the original on 17 January 2021. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Anti-virus creator John McAfee arrested over tax evasion charges". BBC News. 6 October 2020. Archived from the original on 7 March 2021. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Software Creator McAfee Arrested In Spain, Awaiting Extradition To US". Channels Television. Archived from the original on 27 January 2021. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Larger-than-life software mogul John McAfee dies in Spain by suicide, lawyer says". Reuters. 23 June 2021. Archived from the original on 23 June 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  11. ^ Carranco, Rebeca (23 June 2021). "El fundador del antivirus McAfee, John McAfee, se suicida en una prisión de Barcelona". EL PAÍS (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 23 June 2021. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  12. ^ "Report: John McAfee Autopsy Rules His Death a Suicide". Vanity Fair. 29 June 2021. Archived from the original on 13 July 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  13. ^ Czopek, Madison (25 June 2021). "Rumors surrounding John McAfee's death linked to QAnon conspiracy". Politifact. Archived from the original on 14 July 2021. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  14. ^ Musumeci, Natalie (6 July 2021). "Antivirus mogul John McAfee's wife says she doesn't believe he died by suicide". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 17 July 2021. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  15. ^ Murray, Graeme (14 July 2021). "Computer tycoon's wife shares 'suspect' suicide note after he is found dead". The Mirror. Archived from the original on 20 July 2021. Retrieved 17 July 2021.

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