John McAfee was no ordinary guy.
He established himself as a leader in the cybersecurity industry by creating one of the greatest antivirus companies of all time.
What happened next, however, is what really propelled him into the public eye.
The British-born American software magnate worked at NASA, Lockheed Martin and Xerox before launching McAfee VirusScan in 1987.
Thanks to VirusScan, a multi-billion dollar industry was born in the computing world. He eventually sold the platform to tech giant Intel for over $7.6 billion in 2011.
To date, there are 500 million users of the program that bears his name.
Image: Business Insider
John McAfee: his successful and tumultuous life
McAfee has long fled from US authorities, spending some of that time on a megayacht. The New York cryptocurrency fraud case and the Tennessee tax evasion case led to his indictment.
He became a ‘person of interest’ in a Belize murder investigation after his $100 million fortune plummeted to less than $4 million following the 2008 financial crisis.
McAfee has spent a significant amount of time residing in Belize. When authorities came looking for him to question him about a 2012 homicide in his neighborhood, he fled. They concluded he was not a suspect.
The antivirus pioneer claimed to have fathered at least 47 children in 2018. After that, he returned to the United States and ran for president twice (in 2016 and 2020).
The brash visionary and cybersecurity legend
John McAfee was by no means the stereotypical tech entrepreneur. He was hasty and careless, often getting himself into trouble.
After Spain’s high court approved his extradition to the US on tax evasion allegations, he killed himself in a Barcelona jail in June last year.
According to McAfee’s lawyer, Javier Villalba, he committed suicide by hanging himself after spending nine months behind bars.
Despite John McAfee’s right to appeal his conviction, Villalba said he could not survive a long period of time in prison.
John McAfee is the author of several books on yoga and spirituality.
In 2012, he told Wired that his father was an alcoholic and an abuser of his mother.
His father died by suicide
According to Wired and other reports, when McAfee was 15, his father committed suicide.
John met his wife, Janice McAfee, when she solicited him as a prostitute while he was in 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 deserve to have in this life. I love you John. #JohnMcAfee didn’t kill himself #Legends never die#Gone, but never forgotten 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 his death be forgotten. Help me to pressure the Spanish authorities to take action to release his body.
Samantha Herrera, John McAfee’s ex-girlfriend, claims he didn’t die in prison but escaped and now lives in the US
“My heart aches for you everyday but I hope wherever you are you are resting in the peace you deserve to have in this life. I love you John,” his wife said.
Just over a year after his truly stranger-than-fiction death, McAfee’s story was made into a Netflix documentary called Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee.
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