Posted: January 14, 2013 in by John Dilligent
Tags: , , ,

Aaron Swartz


Aaron H. Swartz

(November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013)

Aaron H. Swartz was an American computer programmer, writer, archivist, political organizer, and Imternet activist.

Swartz was a member of the RSS-DEV Working Group that co-authored the “RSS 1.0” specification of RSS, and built the Web site framework web.py and the architecture for the Open Library. He also built Infogami, a company that merged with Reddit in its early days, through which he became an equal owner of the merged company. Swartz also focused on sociology, civic awareness and activism. In 2010 he was a member of the Harvard University Center for Ethics. He cofounded the online group Demand Progress (known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act) and later worked with U.S. and international activist groups Rootstrikers and Avaaz.

On January 6, 2011, as a result of a federal investigation, Swartz was arrested in connection with systematic downloading of academic journal articles from JSTOR. Swartz opposed JSTOR’s practice of compensating publishers, rather than authors, out of the fees it charges for access to articles. Swartz contended that JSTOR’s fees limited access to academic work produced at American colleges and universities.

On the morning of January 11, 2013, Swartz was found dead in his Crown Heights, Brooklyn apartment, where he had apparently hanged himself.

What a tragic and senseless waste of a vital life and a brilliant mind. Thank you Aaron, for all you did for us and all the sacrifices you made on our behalf. You will be missed… 


Aaron Swartz - In Memoriam



  1. Hey Terry,

    He was the real deal.

    I look at what all this man did,
    stood up for, and was able to
    accomplish it the span of such
    a short time, and it makes me
    feel very small and insignifi-
    cant by comparison.

    We don’t know he hanged
    himself, someone may have
    saved him the trouble. There’s
    no mention of any note, and
    considering the type of indi-
    vidual he was I find that small
    detail rather odd.

    If we didn’t get a final explana-
    tion from anyone it seems like
    we’d have gotten it from him…


  2. terracer says:

    What a waste…. You have to question why such a bright kid would end up swinging from a rope. Was it really suicide? He obviously had the internals of the “corporate campaign machine” figured out, and was ready to throw a spanner in the works. Now he never will…. Is that just a coincidene?

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