Aaron Swartz took his own life Friday, January 11, just weeks before he was to go on trial for allegedly stealing millions of journal articles from a Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer archive. The charges could have sent him to prison for decades if he had been convicted.
He was 26-years-old.
Swartz burst on the Internet scene at the age of 14, co-writing the now indispensable computer code known as RSS, among many other things. At one point, he formed a company that merged with Reddit, the popular news and information site.
But Swartz suffered from depression, and family and friends are now pointing a finger squarely at the Justice Department and federal prosecutors for contributing to his death.