Spotlight: John McAfee – Software Genius, Playboy, and Adventurer


John McAfee, the software pioneer, turned eccentric millionaire, for which the anti-virus software is named, arrived in the United States on December 12th, deported to US by the Guatemalan authorities. He has been on the run from Belize authorities who states that he was not a suspect in the murder of McAfee’s neighbor. According to Mr. McAfee, authorities were out to kill him. He stated that if it were not for the interest of the media and worldwide coverage of his ordeal, he would never have made it back to the United States. A Guatemalan judge ordered his release from detention centre for illegal entry in the country and sent to the United States.

Who is John McAfee?

Born in September 18th, 1946 in England, was raised in Salem, Virginia where he received his bachelor degree in mathematics from Roanoke College in 1967, and received an honorary doctorate from Roanoke College in 2008.

The Institute for Space Studies, NASA, in New York City employed McAfee as a programmer from 1968 to 1970. From there he went to Univac as a software designer and later to Xerox as an operating system architect. In 1978, he joined Computer Sciences Corporation as a software consultant. Later, while employed by Lockheed in the 1980s, McAfee received a copy of the Pakistani Brain computer virus and began developing software to combat viruses.
In 1987, McAfee founded McAfee Associates, a computer anti-virus company. He was the first to distribute anti-virus software using the shareware business model called VirusScan. In 1989, he quit Lockheed and began working full-time at McAfee Associates, initially started in his home in Santa Clara, California. The company was incorporated in the state of Delaware in 1992, and McAfee resignedfrom the company in 1994, when he sold his remaining stake in the company. Some say he chose to retire after the Michelangelo Virus scare or asked to leave because of media backlash. Whatever had been the reason, McAfee resigned a rich man. 
He was 48 years-old when he moved to Silicon Valley to Colorado, where he bought 400 acres of forest and built a home with a view of the mountains. Around that time, the World-Wide Web (Tim Berner) was launched, being the world’s first easy-to-use Web browser. McAfee saw opportunity to create an Internet-based community called PowWow. Considered the first instant message chat social software programming. It led to MySpaceand Facebook. PowWow was part of McAfee’s company, Tribal Voice, later sold out and has since folded.
For a while, McAfee taught Yoga, of which he wrote a book about it.
His book list:
Computer Viruses, Worms, Data Diddlers, Killer Programs, and Other Threats to Your System … 1989, John McAfee and Colin Haynes, foreword by John Dvorak.
The Secret of the Yamas: A Spiritual Guide to Yoga, 2001.
There is an official blog of John McAfee as well, called The Hinterland. It has been a way to communicate to the world what has been going on in his life during his ordeal.
Another interest of McAfee is alternate health products and therapies, one of them bath salts.
McAfee returns to US with darkened hair
Now, John McAfee is back in the United States and broke. He has up to $20 million tied up in real estate and accounts in Belize that he cannot access. He received some case from an anonymous friend in Canada. He told the news media that he is trying to get his 20-year-old and 17-year-old girlfriends into the United States, he fears for their safety.
He moved to Belize to escape lawsuits, according to the media. He was once a playboy entrepreneur party goer, and stated he changed his life to a more quiet one in Belize – until the government allegedly force themselves onto his property, into his house, killing one of his dogs, on what McAfee called a “trumped up charge”. The trumped up charge of running a meth lab. He has been operating a topical antiseptic with a biologist he hired – so he did have a small laboratory.
A lawsuit, one out of five separate lawsuits, involved a wrongful death claim concerning “trike” lightweight aircraft.
The Belize authorities claims that McAfee is not suspect in the murder of his neighbor, Gregory Faull. McAfee had donated larges sums of money and expensive material donations to the government of Belize, but it appears there was a falling out – the details are unclear. It will take an investigative reporter to visit Belize and get both sides of the story. As McAfee told reporters, “I hardly knew him, why would I kill him?
I am sure there will more about the adventurous life of this interesting, sometimes eccentric man.
For the best overview of McAfee, visit Gawker.
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