On Wednesday, 75-year-old John McAfee, the developer of McAfee antivirus software, allegedly committed suicide in a Spanish prison. His death occurred just hours after a judge ordered his extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for tax evasion. He was apprehended last year at the Barcelona airport as he was preparing to catch a trip to Istanbul. He previously tweeted, “The terms ‘Arrested’ and ‘McAfee’ are commonly seen together in the same phrase.”
He described himself as an iconoclast. His run-ins with the law forced him to live the life of a fugitive several times in his last years. In between all of his fleeing, he found political expression in the Libertarian Party, albeit he was unsuccessful in his bid to be its nominee for the 2016 presidential elections. He intended to try again in 2020, but backed out.
In business, he built his fame and fortune. He was regarded as a forerunner in the field of security technology. In 1987, he founded McAfee Associates, which sold anti-virus software. He left the firm in 1994, two years after it went public. It wasn’t until 2010 that Intel purchased the then-avatar of this firm, by which time the McAfee brand had become contentious.
According to reports, McAfee lost a large portion of his fortune during the 2007 financial crisis. He had financial interests in the real estate business at the time. Despite experimenting in a variety of companies over the years, including an instant messaging platform, herbal antibiotics, secure computer network equipment, and Bitcoin mining, he was never able to duplicate the popularity of his anti-virus software. His curiosity in cryptocurrencies only landed him in further problems with the authorities.
His legal issues covered several nations. He once fled Belize, where officials suspected him of being a “person of interest” in the murder of a neighbour. He was then apprehended for unlawfully entering Guatemala. In 2019, he refused to comply with a court ruling for him to pay $25 million to the estate of his slain neighbour. “I have not replied to a single one of my 37 cases in the last 11 years,” he tweeted.
On Twitter, his flirtation with issues continued, in the shape of postings ranging from coronavirus masks to the Deep State. He had considered getting slain as well as, more lately, dying. On his 75th birthday, September 18, 2020, he tweeted, “75 years of a roller coaster journey between Heaven and Hell… Constantly going through ‘normal,’ like a fast train could pass through an intersection. It wouldn’t be any other way for me.”