The man who founded one of the most important antivirus firms to date was arrested and even wanted to run for the presidency.
John McAfee is a mystery.
He was the founder of one of the most successful antivirus companies in history, but it was what happened after that chapter in his life which made him a legend.
McAfee was once a Belizean and was arrested for drug possession and other criminal activities.
He has attempted to run for president since then, started his own political party and was recently elected president and chief executive officer of a new, mysterious company.
Let’s look at the history of this man: who he was once, what he became and where he is today.
It’s not boring, we promise.
John McAfee was a British citizen who was born in the UK during the mid-1940s. When he was very young, his parents moved to Roanoke in Virginia.
His first years were likely difficult for him. His father was an alcoholic and worked as a road surveyor. McAfee, who was 15 years old at the time, lost his father to suicide. McAfee claims that he still wakes up to this fact every day.
McAfee attended Roanoke College where he started to drink. Young John was a smart businessman. He started his first business selling magazines door to door, and made a small fortune.
In the late 1960s, he began his career at a company that encoded punch cards. He learned the basics of computing from this company. He was able to land a job with the Missouri Pacific Railroad. There, he assisted in the use of a new IBM computer system to compile train schedules.
He began driving drugs while working for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. LSD was a strong stimulant and I found myself working many days while under its influence. They sold him DMT, a psychedelic that is commonly used in the treatment of depression. Wired magazine reports that McAfee took a small amount of DMT, felt nothing and then decided to take the whole package. Then, chaos ensued. He ran away, scared, and hidden behind a garbage bin.
Wired describes this as follows: “People asked him questions but he couldn’t understand their answers. He couldn’t comprehend anything as the computer pulled out train times. He found himself behind a trash can in downtown St. Louis and heard voices, hoping that no one would notice him. He never returned to Missouri Pacific. He believes that he is still on the journey and that all that has occurred since then has been a massive hallucination. A part of him believes that one day he will be back in St. Louis listening to Dark Side of the Pink Floyd’s Moon.
McAfee immigrated to Silicon Valley in 1970s. McAfee held many jobs in technology companies, including a stint at NASA Institute for Space Studies. He was a frequent user of drugs and alcohol. He quit drinking in 1983. While working for Omex, he found that his typical day consisted of drinking whiskey and snorting coke. He said he felt scared and lonely and decided to seek out help.
McAfee was employed at Lockheed in the 1980s. Computers were still very new at the time. The first computer virus infected computers was discovered in 1986. He was horrified to learn about the new viruses infecting computers and decided to create his own company to combat them.
McAfee Associates was born. In the late 1980s, McAfee Associates was earning $ 5 million per year. Some of the most important companies in the world used its antivirus platform.
McAfee became a much bigger success thanks to the computer virus Michelangelo, which hit the scene in 1992. McAfee called the virus one of the most dangerous viruses ever discovered, and estimated that it could infect as many as 5 million computers. Anti-virus platforms for computers were not a popular product back then. There was a growing desire to protect computers against viruses thanks to Michelangelo.
McAfee was infected on a small number of computers, but Miguelangelo took McAfee public and it became an multi-million dollar company.
McAfee, however, aspired to a better situation in 1994 and retired from McAfee. He sold his shares two years later, which netted him $ 100 million.
McAfee remained relatively quiet after his resignation. McAfee used to advise young entrepreneurs and lecture at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He also pursued his own projects. Although neither of his social media projects, PowWow or Tribal Voice were widely shared, he did work on them.
But 2008’s economic collapse drew him down. According to one report, his fortune plummeted from $ 100million to $ 4 million.
McAfee made the decision to sell his land in late 2000 and move to Belize. McAfee wanted to be a part of the antibiotics world. He believed that he could create a product that used plants to combat disease with the assistance of Allison Adonizio, a microbiologist. Quorumex was the name of the company.
Things got difficult in Belize. He was convinced he was being monitored all the time.
He frequented Lover’s Bar in Belize, which is a tavern. According to reports, he used to go there every day to watch people move and change. Slowly, he stopped caring about everything else. He was obsessed with the poor people of this area. He wrote after six months that he felt no connection to society.
He wrote, “My fragile connection with the world of decent societies has undoubtedly been severed.” My clothes would place me in the category the worst-dressed beggars in Tijuana. My hygiene is poor. Yesterday was the first time I had urinated publicly in broad daylight.
According to Reuters, McAfee was “person of interest” in 2012 when Gregory Faull was shot and killed. McAfee fled after being interrogated by the Belizean government.
Later, he was arrested in Guatemala. Reports suggest that Vice sent two journalists to interview him. Vice uploaded photos of McAfee, which still displayed the GPS coordinates, by mistake. McAfee was arrested by Guatemalan police shortly after the events. He claimed that he had illegally entered the country. McAfee was taken into custody and suffered several heart-related problems. He was eventually expelled from Guatemala and returned to the United States.
The media craze that followed was born. Everyone wanted to find out who he really was, where he was heading, and if they were crazy.
McAfee wasn’t able to make it simple for himself. He uploaded a bizarre video in 2013 titled “How To Uninstall McAfeeAntivirus”. He was surrounded by women in scantily-clad clothing trying to uninstall the software he created. This was something he reported after he left the company. Although the video contains references to drugs and weapons, it is clear that it was parodied.
McAfee was arrested in August for driving while under the influence of drugs, and possessing firearms. McAfee posted a Facebook confession that he had driven under the influence Xanax. He also blamed his doctor for failing to warn him that it could be dangerous.
McAfee made only a handful of public appearances. McAfee is reported to be based in Portland, Oregon. He writes sometimes about security, privacy, and freedom.
He tried to run for the 2016 presidential election in September 2015. In September 2015, however, he announced that he would be starting his own political party called “The Cyber Party”. To introduce his party, he used a YouTube video.
McAfee was the leader of his campaign to the Libertarian Party National Convention but was not able to secure the nomination. Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, was ultimately nominated.
McAfee was appointed president and CEO of MGT Technologies in May. The company originally invested in fantasy games and mobile phone apps, but it has now shifted its focus to cybersecurity. The company also announced that it has invested in a small pharmaceutical manufacturer, which is not related to cybersecurity.
Hello I’m Victor Anguiano.
Welcome to my technology website.
As a former CEO of a tec-based company that is based in my hometown I decided a little while ago to start this blog. For me it's an outlet and a chance for me to relax and engage with my hobby which is all about technology. In fact, anything that revolves around technology, gadgets and technological breakthroughs and developments.