Reddit Co-Founder Aaron Swartz Commits Suicide! [Details]

Rucuss staffJanuary 12, 2013

Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz was found dead in his apartment on Friday.

Swartz, 26, hanged himself in his Brooklyn apartment weeks before he was to go on trial on accusations that he stole millions of journal articles from an electronic archive in an attempt to make them freely available.

The computer prodigy pleaded not guilty to charges including wire fraud. If convicted, he faced decades in prison and a fortune in fines. His trial was due to start in April.

Swartz, who fought to make online content free to the public, was pronounced dead Friday evening, said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for New York’s chief medical examiner.

Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing.com said Swartz had “problems with depression for many years.”

In an online account of his life and work, Swartz said he became ‘miserable’ after going to work at the San Francisco offices of Wired after Reddit was acquired by Conde Nast.

“I took a long Christmas vacation,” he wrote. “I got sick. I thought of suicide. I ran from the police. And when I got back on Monday morning, I was asked to resign.”

As a young teenager, Swartz helped create RSS. It is a family of Web feed formats used to gather updates from blogs, news headlines, audio and video for users. He later co-founded the social news website Reddit, which was later sold to Conde Nast. Swartz created political action group Demand Progress, which campaigns against Internet censorship.

Swartz was considered a pioneer of efforts to make online information freely available.

May Swartz rest in peace.

Photos via Neowin and LaughingSquid

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