John McAfee was no ordinary guy.
He established himself as a leader in the cybersecurity industry by creating one of the largest antivirus companies ever.
What happened next, though, is what truly propelled him into the public eye.
The American software mogul, who was born in Britain, did stints at NASA, Lockheed Martin, and Xerox before releasing McAfee VirusScan in 1987.
As a result of VirusScan, a multibillion dollar industry was born in the computer world. He finally sold the platform to technology giant Intel for more than $7.6 billion in 2011.
To this day, there are 500 million users of the program that bears his name.
Image: Business Insider
John McAfee: His Successful & Tumultuous Life
McAfee has been on the run from the U.S. authorities for a long time, spending some of that time on a megayacht. Both the New York cryptocurrency fraud case and the Tennessee tax evasion case led to his indictment.
He became a “person of interest” in a murder investigation in Belize after his $100 million fortune collapsed to less than $4 million in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
McAfee spent a good deal of time residing in Belize. When authorities came looking for him to ask him about a homicide in his neighborhood in 2012, he ran away. They concluded that he was not a suspect.
The anti-virus pioneer claimed to have fathered at least 47 children in 2018. After that, he came back to the States and ran for president twice (in 2016 and 2020).
The Hot-Headed Visionary & Cybersecurity Legend
John McAfee was not the stereotypical tech entrepreneur in any way. He was hasty and careless, often getting himself into some sort of trouble.
After the Spanish high court approved his extradition to the United States on tax evasion allegations, he committed suicide in a Barcelona prison in June of last year.
According to McAfee’s attorney, Javier Villalba, he took his own life by hanging himself after spending nine months behind bars.
Despite John McAfee’s right to appeal his sentence, Villalba said that he could not survive an extended period of time in a jail facility.
John McAfee authored several books on yoga and spirituality.
In 2012, he told Wired that his father was an alcoholic and an abuser to his mom.
His Father Died By Suicide
According to Wired and other reports, when McAfee was 15, his father died by suicide.
John met his wife, Janice McAfee, when she solicited him as a prostitute while he was hiding from the authorities, he said.
My heart aches for you every day but I hope that wherever you are, you are resting in the peace you deserved to have in this life. I love you John. #JohnMcAfeeDidNotKillHimself #LegendsNeverDie#GoneButNEVERForgotten pic.twitter.com/mIwYX3fqbw
— Janice McAfee (@theemrsmcafee) September 18, 2022
Today, Janice posted the following tweet:
“Don’t let John’s story, his work and death become forgotten. Help me pressure Spanish officials to take action to release his body.”
Samantha Herrera, John McAfee’s ex-girlfriend, claims he did not die in prison but escaped and is now living in the U.S.
“My heart aches for you every day but I hope that wherever you are, you are resting in the peace you deserved to have in this life. I love you John,” his wife said.
A little more than a year after his death, which was genuinely stranger than fiction, McAfee’s story has been transformed into a Netflix documentary called Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee.
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