John McAfee

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John McAfee
BornSeptember 1946
NationalityBritish / American
Alma materRoanoke College
Occupationcomputer programer, software developer, founder of McAfee
Known forMcAfee
Spouse(s)Judy McAfee (separated)
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John McAfee
BornSeptember 1946
NationalityBritish / American
Alma materRoanoke College
Occupationcomputer programer, software developer, founder of McAfee
Known forMcAfee
Spouse(s)Judy McAfee (separated)

John McAfee (born September 1946)[1] is an American computer programmer and founder of McAfee, Inc.


Early life

McAfee was born in England and raised in Salem, Virginia.[2] He received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Roanoke College in 1967, and he received an honorary doctorate from Roanoke College in 2008.


McAfee was employed as a programmer by NASA's Institute for Space Studies in New York City 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.[3] He was the first to distribute anti-virus software using the shareware business model.[citation needed] In 1989, he quit Lockheed and began working full-time at McAfee Associates, which he initially operated from his home in Santa Clara, California.[citation needed] The company was incorporated in the state of Delaware in 1992, and McAfee resigned from the company in 1994.[3] Two years after McAfee Associates went public, McAfee sold his remaining stake in the company.[4] Network Associates was formed in 1997 as a merger of McAfee Associates and Network General. This company later became Network Associates, a name it retained for seven years until it was renamed McAfee. McAfee remains today as one of the largest anti-virus companies in the world.

Other business ventures that he founded included Tribal Voice, which developed one of the first instant messaging programs,[5] PowWow. In 2000, John McAfee invested in and joined the board of directors of Zone Labs, makers of firewall software, prior to its acquisition by Check Point Software in 2003.[6]

In August 2009, The New York Times reported that McAfee's personal fortune had declined to $4 million from a peak of $100 million, the effect of the global financial crisis and recession on his investments.[4]

Beginning in February 2010, McAfee started a new venture in the field of bacterial quorum sensing. His company QuorumEx[7] is headquartered in Belize and is working towards producing commercial all natural antibiotics based on anti-quorum sensing technology.[8][9]

Personal life

McAfee teaches yoga[10] and has written several books about yoga.[11]

In a 2012 article in Mensa Bulletin, the magazine of American Mensa, he stated that being the developer of the first commercial anti-virus program has made him "the most popular hacking target", adding "Hackers see hacking me as a badge of honor". He added that for his own security he has other people buy his computer equipment for him, uses pseudonyms for setting up computers and logging in, and changes his IP address several times a day.[12]

In 2012, when asked if he personally uses McAfee anti-virus he replied by saying “I take it off,” and that “It’s too annoying.”[13]

Legal problems

On April 30, 2012, McAfee's property in Orange Walk Town, Belize, was raided by the Gang Suppression Unit. A GSU press release stated that McAfee was arrested for unlicensed drug manufacturing and possession of an unlicensed weapon.[14][15][16][17][9] He was released without charge.[18] In 2012, Belize police spokesman Raphael Martinez confirmed that he was not convicted nor charged but only suspected.[19]

On November 12, 2012, Belize police started a search for McAfee as a "person of interest" in connection to the murder of American expatriate Gregory Viant Faull. Faull was found dead of a gunshot wound on November 11, 2012, at his home on the island of Ambergris Caye, the largest island in Belize.[20][21] Faull was a neighbor of McAfee.[22] No one has yet been formally charged.[21] In a November 2012 interview with Wired, [23] McAfee said that he has always been afraid police would kill him and thus refused their routine questions; he has since been evading the Belizean authorities.[22] Belize's prime minister Dean Barrow called McAfee "extremely paranoid, even bonkers".[24] McAfee fled Belize when he was sought for questioning concerning the murder.[25][26][27][28][29]

McAfee accidentally gave away his location at a Guatemalan resort in early December 2012 by letting Vice Magazine post his picture with the geolocation metadata still attached to it.[30] He has since appeared publicly in Guatemala City and was attempting to seek political asylum. On December 5, 2012, McAfee was arrested for illegally entering Guatemala. The country now wants to expel McAfee to Belize. Shortly after being placed under arrest, a board to review McAfee's plea for asylum was formed. The committee denied his asylum, so he was taken from his holding facility to a detention center in order to await deportation to Belize.[31] On December 6, 2012, Reuters and ABC News reported that John McAfee had two minor heart attacks in a Guatemalan detention center and was hospitalized. [32][33] His lawyer stated that McAfee had not suffered heart attacks, but had instead suffered from high blood pressure and angst-attacks.[34][35][36] On December 12, 2012, McAfee was released from detention in Guatemala and deported to the United States.[37]

See also


  1. ^ Marshall Cavendish Corporation (Hrsg.): Inventors and Inventions. 4, Marshall Cavendish, New York 2007, ISBN 9780761477617, p. 1029 ff. (Google books)
  2. ^ Inventors and Inventions. 4. Marshall Cavendish Corporation. Marshall Cavendish. 2007. p. 1030. ISBN 0-7614-7767-5.
  3. ^ a b Cavendish, Marshall (2007). Inventors and Inventions, Volume 4. Paul Bernabeo. pp. 1033. ISBN 0761477675.
  4. ^ a b Leonhardt, David; Fabrikant, Geraldine (August 21, 2009). "Rise of the Super-Rich Hits a Sobering Wall" (article). The New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  5. ^ Pontin, Jason (2005-05-01). "From the Editor | MIT Technology Review". Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  6. ^ "Zone Labs To Get Funding, New Board Member". 2000-10-02. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  7. ^ "Quorum sensing inhibitor agents from the jungles and savannas of Belize". Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  8. ^ "Plagued by Lawsuits, McAfee Founder Hunts for Cures in Belize" (article). Fast Company. May 1, 2010.
  9. ^ a b Wise, Jeff (8 November 2012), Secrets, Schemes, and Lots of Guns: Inside John McAfee’s Heart of Darkness, Gizmodo,
  10. ^ "Arkansas Yoga Center - John McAfee Workshop 2002". 2002-03-09. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  11. ^ "John McAfee: Books". Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  12. ^ "The M Files" (interview feature), Mensa Bulletin, January 2012, p. 21
  13. ^ Thomson, Adam (December 7, 2012). "Four hours with John McAfee". FT Magazine. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  14. ^ "GSU says McAfee’s research facility had unlicensed weapons". Channel 5 Belize. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
  15. ^ "Antivirus Founder, John McAfee, says politics caused GSU raid". Channel 5 Belize. 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
  16. ^ "Belize SWAT team raids antivirus pioneer McAfee" (article). Ken Smith. May 7, 2012.
  17. ^ Jamie McGinnes, 25 May 2012, Millionaire on the run: How the man who founded software giant McAfee lost his fortune and ended up hiding from police in Belize after they 'rousted him from the bed of a 17-year-old and shot his dog because he's running a meth lab', Daily Mail
  18. ^ Associated Press – Tue, Nov 13, 2012
  19. ^ UPDATE 2-Software pioneer McAfee says framed for murder in Belize, Reuters, 13 November 2012,
  20. ^ Jeff Wise (12 november 2012), Exclusive: John McAfee Wanted for Murder, Gizmodo,
  21. ^ a b Jeremy A. Kaplan, Alec Liu (12 november 2012), Exclusive: U.S. antivirus legend John McAfee wanted for murder in Belize, Fox News,
  22. ^ a b Joshua Davis (12 November 2012), Murder Suspect John McAfee: I'm Innocent, Wired,
  23. ^ Guatemala detains software guru McAfee, to expel him to Belize
  24. ^ Allen, Nick (November 15, 2012). "John Mcafee is 'bonkers', says Belize prime minister". The Telegraph. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  25. ^ McAfee was arrested at 5 December 2012.
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Fugitive McAfee seeks asylum in Guatemala". AFB. November 15, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  29. ^
  30. ^ Weitzenkorn, Ben (4 December 2012). "McAfee's Rookie Mistake Gives Away His Location". TechNewsDaily. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  31. ^ Perez-Diaz, Sonia (Dec. 06 2012). "Software founder McAfee denied asylum in Guatemala, being deported to Belize". Global and Mail. Retrieved December 6, 2012.
  32. ^ Matt Gutman and Anne Laurent (6 December 2012). "John McAfee Suffers Possible Heart Attack at Guatemala Detention Center". ABC News. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  33. ^ "John McAfee: Software entrepreneur hospitalized in Guatemala after heart attacks". Chicago Tribune. 6 December 2012.,0,2291425.story. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  34. ^
  35. ^ Salay, Miguel (December 7, 2012). "McAfee returns to Guatemalan detention center after hospital visit". CNN. Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  36. ^
  37. ^ "UPDATE: McAfee Released, Leaving Guatemala For The U.S.". NPR. Retrieved 12 December 2012.

External links