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John McAfee, Software Pioneer, Dies In Prison At Age 75


Software pioneer John McAfee has died at 75 years old. He was found unresponsive in a Spanish prison cell yesterday. The discovery came just hours after a court in Spain approved McAfee to be extradited to the U.S. to face federal tax evasion charges. NPR's Bobby Allyn has the story.

BOBBY ALLYN, BYLINE: McAfee's name has become synonymous with the antivirus software company he founded in 1987. In the '90s, he sold his stake and became a multimillionaire and lived an extravagant life, eventually running a big party house on an island off the coast of Belize. He fled after being named as a suspect in a murder there. In 2016, he was back in the U.S. explaining to Larry King what drove him to run for president under the Cyber Party.


JOHN MCAFEE: Personal freedom and personal privacy are paramount. And I found that out while I've been incarcerated a number of times. I am a civil disobedience person.

ALLYN: McAfee styled himself an outlaw. He bragged on Twitter about not paying taxes. Eventually, the feds caught up to him. He was arrested in Spain on tax evasion charges. CeCe Craig says she knew a different McAfee. She was the house manager of one of his properties in Colorado in the early 2000s.

CECE CRAIG: He taught me how to meditate, how to do yoga. We hiked a lot on his land. I learned a lot from him. But he was a nerd. That's how I always saw him. I got the good McAfee.

ALLYN: In the eyes of federal prosecutors, there was a bad McAfee, too. Authorities convinced the Spanish government to send him back to U.S. soil. McAfee's lawyer, Nishay Sanan, says he planned to fight the charges against McAfee.

NISHAY SANAN: This man was a fighter. And in the minds of everyone who knew him, he will always be a fighter.

ALLYN: In an interview on "The Delphi Podcast" three months before he was arrested in Spain, McAfee wore a blazer and sunglasses and screamed at the host about Bitcoin. He also expressed his disdain for income taxes. When asked if that means he doesn't want to come back to the U.S., he said...


MCAFEE: No, I do want to live in America. I just can't. They won't let me back in. What can I tell you?

ALLYN: Bobby Allyn, NPR News, San Francisco. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Bobby Allyn is a business reporter at NPR based in San Francisco. He covers technology and how Silicon Valley's largest companies are transforming how we live and reshaping society.