John David McAfee, born 1945 was a British-American computer programmer, businessman, and two-time presidential candidate. He received a B.Sc degree in Mathematics in 1960 from Roanoke College which subsequently awarded him a honorary Sc.D. degree in 2018.
John McAfee is the founder of Anti-virus software, McAfee which was established in 1987. He resigned from the company in 1994 and sold his remaining stake at the company. McAfee made his big break as the pioneer of the first commercial antivirus software.
He reportedly died by suicide in his prison on 23 June 2021, few hours after a Spanish court approved his extradition to the U.S. on tax evasion charges.
The 75 year old British-American enterpreneur was arrested at Barcelona airport in October 2020 for allegedly failing to pay taxes on years of income. Reports stated that he deliberately failed to file tax returns between 2014 and 2018 despite earning millions from consulting work, cryptocurrencies and selling the rights to his life story. If convicted, he could have faced up to 30 years in prison.
According U.S extradition request filed in November and quoted in the ruling, McAfee earned more than 10 million euros ($12 million) in the four years in question, but never filed a tax return. “To conceal his income and assets from the Internal Revenue Service… the defendant ordered part of his income to be paid to straw men and placed property in their names,” it said.
However, in a tweet on June 16, he said the U.S. authorities believed he had “hidden crypto. I wish I did. My remaining assets are all seized. My friends evaporated through fear of association. I have nothing. Yet, I regret nothing.”
After he resigned from McAfee Associates, he founded several companies including Tribal Voice, QuorumEx and Future Tense Central, among others, and was involved in leadership positions in the companies Everykey, MGT Capital Investments, and Luxcore, among others.
As a serial entrepreneur, McAfee had other business interests aside software programming which include cryptocurrency, herbal antibiotics, and yoga. Since making a fortune in the 1980s with the antivirus software that still bears his name, McAfee had become a self-styled crypto-currency guru, claiming to make $2,000 a day.
Moreover, while McAfee was alive, he delved into politics. In 2016 and 2020, he sought to be nominated as the United States Presidential candidate under the Libertarian Party. However, he was unsuccessful in his pursuit.
At the height of John’s wealth, he was worth more than $100m after he resigned as chief executive of McAfee but a combination of bad investments, the global financial crisis in 2008-2009 and increasing legal troubles, which saw him go on the run from US authorities for years, caused his net worth to plummet to just $4 million at the time of his death.
McAfee, whose father also died by suicide is survived by his wife, Janice McAfee, 47 children, 61 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren that he hadn’t met.