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John McAfee, Antivirus Software Creator, Found Dead in Spanish Jail

John McAfee in 2013. Mr. McAfee had been detained in Spain since October.


Lipo Ching/San Jose Mercury News/TNS/Zuma Press

John McAfee,

the antivirus software pioneer who founded cybersecurity company McAfee, was found dead Wednesday in a jail cell in Spain, according to a statement from his attorney.

A Spanish court earlier in the day ordered for the extradition of Mr. McAfee in connection with a federal criminal proceeding in Tennessee. Mr. McAfee had been detained in the country since October in connection with criminal charges filed in Tennessee by the Justice Department’s tax division.

The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office also sought the extradition of Mr. McAfee for a separate criminal case.

“John was and will always be remembered as a fighter,” said Nishay K. Sanan, an attorney for Mr. McAfee. “He tried to love this country but the U.S. government made his existence impossible.”

Mr. Sanan said the court ruling Wednesday was going to be appealed in the next few days and that the New York extradition was still pending in a lower court in Spain.

Mr. McAfee founded the security company that still bears his name in 1987, but he sold his stake in the business in the 1990s and had not been involved in the company’s operations for decades.

John McAfee, left, at the CES International conference in Las Vegas in 2016.


Gregory Bull/Associated Press

Write to Bowdeya Tweh at and Robert McMillan at

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Appeared in the June 24, 2021, print edition as ‘Software Pioneer McAfee Found Dead in Spanish Jail.’

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