Former Reddit co-owner and founder of DemandProgress, Aaron Swartz commited suicide at the age of 26 in New York City yesterday, according to reports by The Tech. Swartz had been battling criminal charges related to his attempts to make JSTOR archives public and had been facing up to 50 years in prison and $US4 million dollars in fines at the time of his death.
In addition to becoming an early co-owner of Reddit when his company Infogami was bought by the mammoth-to-be, Swarts also co-authored the RSS 1.0 specifications at the age of 14, and founded Demand Progress, a key player in last year’s battle against SOPA.
Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow, a friend of Swartz’s eulogised him this morning on the website, saying the following:
I’m so sorry for Aaron, and sorry about Aaron. My sincere condolences to his parents, whom I never met, but who loved their brilliant, magnificently weird son and made sure he always had chaperonage when he went abroad on his adventures. My condolences to his friends, especially Quinn and Lisa, and the ones I know and the ones I don’t, and to his comrades at DemandProgress. To the world: we have all lost someone today who had more work to do, and who made the world a better place when he did it.