Aaron Swartz, a gifted programmer who co-founded the highly popular social media site Reddit, has been found dead in his New York City apartment.
The 26 year old reportedly committed suicide on Friday, although police have yet to release any details. According to the Daily Mail, MIT Tech confirmed the news of Swartz’s death through both his uncle and his lawyer Saturday morning.
Swartz -- creator of the now-ubiquitous RSS format -- became an online activist who fought censorship, yet he battled both depression and the law during his short life. Along with being charged by the Department of Justice for his involvement in a felony hacking scandal, the tech genius struggled with his inner demons.
In a 2007 speech, according to the Daily Mail, the Internet advocate was 'miserable' after moving to San Francisco when his company was purchased by publishing company Conde Nast.
'I couldn't stand San Francisco. I couldn't stand office life,' he said at the time. 'I took a long Christmas vacation. I got sick. I thought of suicide. I ran from the police. And when I got back on Monday morning, I was asked to resign.'
In a blog post from later that year, Swartz went into further detail regarding his bout with depression, writing:
'Your face falls. Perhaps you cry. You feel worthless. You wonder whether it's worth going on. Everything you think about seems bleak - the things you've done, the things you hope to do, the people around you.'
Technology activist Cory Doctorow, writing on his blog, said he met Swartz when he was 14 or 15.
“In so many ways, he was an adult, even then, with a kind of intense, fast intellect that really made me feel like he was part and parcel of the Internet society,” Doctorow wrote.
“But Aaron was also a person who’d had problems with depression for many years,” Doctorow blogged. He added that “whatever problems Aaron was facing, killing himself didn’t solve them. Whatever problems Aaron was facing, they will go unsolved forever."