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John McAfee Bio, Age, Height, Early Life, Career, Personal Life, Net Worth and More

Posted By: Ejaz Abbasi | November 24, 2018

John McAfee Biography

One of the most selling concepts in the Sci-fi apocalyptic fiction is the idea of a computer virus which makes the systems to malfunction, of course, and end up saving the day or condemn humanity to eternal suffering. The fear of cyber-security being compromised so marketable because it’s true to life. It is the most probable disaster that could stain the progress of humanity. So, the people who save us from such disasters in real life should be our real-life superheroes, right? Well, you wouldn’t go that far after learning about the crazy life of the cyber-security legend, John McAfee. John McAfee is the founder of McAfee Associates and created the Anti-Virus of the same name. Here is a look at the crazy life of John McAfee in the John McAfee Biography.

John McAfee

John McAfee Early Life

The British-American cybersecurity legend, John McAfee was born 16 days after World War II ended. He was born on 18 September 1945 on a U.S. Army base in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. The father of the cybersecurity legion stationed at the Army base and his mother was a British civilian. After World War II, his parents moved to Salem, Virginia. The father of John, Roanoke College in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He also awarded an honorary Sc. D. degree in 2008 after his accomplishments as a successful business-man.

John McAfee Career

McAfee had a knack for business since the very beginning. He was an ambitious kid who wanted to be big given that his disturbing childhood was a constant motivator. He always struggling with his life and career. And he did reach many heights and became one of the richest people in the world. But he picked up some bad habits that stained his success. He lost most of his wealth due to his own mistakes, but his accomplishments remarkable none the less. Some of his most famous ventures listed in various stages of John McAfee career.

John McAfee First Business Venture

John McAfee went to Roanoke College to study Mathematics. But there, he also picked up drinking and started his own little business as well. McAfee’s first business was to sell magazines door to door, and it made him a little fortune. The younger John McAfee showed signs of fruitful entrepreneurship since the very beginning. He had sharp senses and was always seeking opportunities to develop himself as a refined businessman. But his drinking problem started growing as well.

John McAfee Interest in Computers

Just as the people of 21st century fear that the autonomous machines powered by Artificial Intelligence would take away all their jobs. It was the same with the mathematicians and the early computers. The early computers developed for the sole purpose of outsmarting the human brain in calculations. John McAfee had a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, and instead, he saw computers as an opportunity.

He understood the simple fact that if the computers were being programmed to outsmart Mathematicians in calculations, a Mathematician was needed to teach it how to do the math. A mathematician was required to encode the logic and feed it to the computers. So with his newly piqued interest in the computers, John McAfee joined a company that coded punch-card systems in the late 1960s. This experience taught him the basics of early computing.

John McAfee Computer Programmer

John McAfee’s experience in coding punch-card systems landed him a great job at Missouri Pacific Railroad. He helped the company to manage and calibrate train schedules using the company’s newfangled IBM computer. He had to go all in with his knowledge as a mathematician and his skill and experience in the early computing. John McAfee taught himself to code, and he was infatuated with the idea that you could accomplish so many complicated things so easily.

McAfee was dedicated to computer programming and learned everything about them. But John McAfee lost his job at Missouri Pacific Railroad due to his own mistakes. He began to do harder drugs and lost his connection to reality. Once he did a full bag of a psychedelic and ran amok. He ran outside the office and tried to hide behind a trashcan.

John McAfee

John McAfee Worked for NASA

John McAfee moved to New York City in 1968 as he got a job at NASA. He worked as a programmer in the NASA’s Institute for Space Studies. It was a stint from 1968 to 1970. But the experience that John McAfee gathered while working for NASA proved to be very valuable. He started to think like a scientist and learned to pay attention to detail as the scientists of NASA aren’t allowed to do many mistakes. The serious and innovative work at NASA made John McAfee an expert programmer.

John McAfee at UNIVAC and Xerox

The cybersecurity legend had already gained a lot of experience in the software designing. So he pushed his luck a little further and got a job at UNIVAC. It was the time when early computing really began to shine and more and more businesses were interested in computers. There was a lot of research was going into the development of a mechanical mind. UNIVAC was the first commercial computer system developed by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly. They were the geniuses who invented the very first computer named ENIAC. John McAfee got to work for these two geniuses and learn from them.

John McAfee in Silicon Valley

In the late 70s, the southern San Francisco Bay Area of California started to grow and many new techies and entrepreneurs started running their businesses in California. The digital age became California’s new gold rush. People started invested heavily in the new tech startups. Investors were throwing money on any new group of entrepreneurs who had the word Tech in the company’s name.

John McAfee saw that as an opportunity and moved to the Silicon Valley. John joined the Computer Sciences Corporation and started working as a software consultant in 1978. He worked there for two years until 1980, when he started consulting for the firm Booz Allen Hamilton. He worked there until 1982 and then joined the Lockheed.  While working at the Lockheed, the very first computer virus broke out and took the newly born computing world with a storm. McAfee got a copy of a computer virus called Brain and started developing an anti-virus.

John McAfee Biggest Venture

The veteran entrepreneur and cybersecurity legend, John McAfee, saw an opportunity and developed his own software to combat the computer viruses. There was a really big gap created in the market by these new computer viruses. Businesses had just started using computers and adapted to new methods of management and data entry. The computer viruses threatened all the infrastructure and progress made in the last 50 years. They could infiltrate the computer system and render all the data useless. But no one knew how to fight back. John McAfee took it one to himself to come up with software to fight back.

McAfee Associates: McAfee Anti-Virus

John McAfee was still working at the Lockheed when he started his own new company called McAfee Associates. He founded the McAfee Associates in 1987 and operated the company from his home located in Santa Clara, California. The company developed the famous anti-virus software that many of us still use every day, McAfee Anti-Virus. The company took off and John left Lockheed to work full-time on his biggest venture. By the late 1980s, McAfee Associates was making $5 million each year.

McAfee Associated Goes Public

McAfee Associates was a huge success in the entrepreneurial struggles of John McAfee. The company anti-virus software became viral and earned a lot of revenue. Many of the big giant corporations were using the McAfee Anti-Virus to protect their data from potential harm. In 1992, the company incorporated in Delaware and the company went public. The company kept growing each day and the price of its stock skyrocketed. The McAfee Anti-Virus became THE Anti-Virus for big businesses and giant corporations.

John McAfee

Michelangelo: The Computer Virus

Probably the biggest reason behind the McAfee success in the 90s was the computer virus known as the Michelangelo. The Boot Sector Virus was designed to work at the BIOS level to infect the DOS system. But the virus did not make any Operating System Calls or engage it. The virus was first discovered on 4 February 1991 in Australia. In 1992, John McAfee estimated that the virus would infect 5 million computers and called it the worst virus to date. Businesses along with the home users started buying Anti-Viruses for their protection. The virus infected only about tens of thousands of computers probably because of the grown public interest in Anti-Virus programs.

John McAfee Resignation

John McAfee is the creative entrepreneur and all creative entrepreneurs love exits. The exits allow them to go out and work on the next big thing, instead of being tied to a single company. John McAfee took the exit from McAfee Associates resigning in 1994. McAfee sold his stakes just 2 years after the company went public. After his resignation, McAfee Associates merged with Network General to form Network Associates in 1997.

As a result, the new name of the company was Network General and was retained for 7 years. In 2004, it was renamed McAfee Inc. The tech giant, Intel bought the company in August 2010 but kept the separate branding. Intel decided to change the company branding to Intel Security in January 2014, when John McAfee had made a reputation for being an international fugitive suspected of the murder of his neighbor.

John McAfee Later Ventures

Just when the dot-com bubble started and the internet was going mainstream, instant messaging services like MSN, Pidgin and AOL took over. John McAfee being the opportunistic businessman that he is launched his own instant messaging programs. They were Tribal Voice and PowWow. Both of them failed to go main-stream and eventually ran out of business.

Getting the public to use new messaging services has always been a bit tougher than other areas. First, you have to do something different. Two, you have to bring in more users to get more users which is a problem in its own. As communication services are useless if none of your contacts use it and it difficult for the companies to initially get more people to use it to get more people to use it.

McAfee in the Global Financial Crisis

McAfee heavily invested in the Zone Labs and joined their board of directors. The company made firewall software and was later acquired by Check Point Software in 2003. John McAfee had got $100 million by selling his shares of his successful company McAfee Associates. But the global financial crisis and recession hit him hard. The New York Times reported in August 2009 that the cybersecurity legend had his net worth declined to just $4 million.

John McAfee QuorumEx

From Anti-Viruses to Anti-Biotics John McAfee determined to find the cure for every problem that humanity faces. Or, he just thought of it as another great opportunity because medicine has changed over the years as well. Now more and more people are paying attention to proper medical treatments. Quorum is the way of communication preferred by the bacteria. If this communication is blocked by a substance, then the harmful bacteria can’t spread illness through the body. This is the motive behind the anti-quorum medicines that McAfee had plans to work on. But the team failed miserably.

John McAfee Future Tense Central

McAfee was always into computer viruses, malware, bugs, and more bugs. So he started a new company in 2013 under the title Future Tense Central. The company was all for the cybersecurity and they operated on a private commercial level. They produced highly secure computer network devices under the name D-Central. The company didn’t have as much success as the McAfee Associates but it did take off. By the year 2016, the device was serving as an incubator as well.

John McAfee Cognizant

As the smart-phones became more and more mainstream, the malicious software developers set their eyes on the next big thing. But John McAfee also saw that problem and launched a smart-phone application called Cognizant. The app displayed all the permission and access to all the installed apps. The permissions hid in the previous versions of Android but these settings were included in the PlayStore since the Lollipop 5.0. So, the app didn’t do very good either. McAfee rebranded the app on 3 April 2014 as DCentral 1 and released it free on Android.

John McAfee MGT Capital Investment

John McAfee went truly all in on cybersecurity after he was appointed the CEO and chief executive chairman of the MGT Capital Investments. MGT Capital Investments was a technology holding company, but McAfee turned its focus from social gaming to cybersecurity. He appointed as the CEO of the company in May 2016. And until the end of 2016, the company had already invested a lot in mining crypto-currencies like Bitcoin. When questioned about his decision as the CEO of MGT Capital Investments, he stated that “It was also intended both to make money for the company and to increase MGT’s expertise in dealing with block-chains, which is important for cyber-security”.

John McAfee Privacy Phone

In the modern world where each and every person is as vulnerable as their smart-phone, the efforts to make a truly private smartphone have become somewhat of a trend. Sirin Labs released a “truly private smart-phone” which costs $16,000 and fails to fulfill the promise. And the cybersecurity vigilante John McAfee came up with his own “truly private smart-phone” that features a whole array of physical switches that can be used to control hardware of the smartphone.

Ideally, users can switch on and off the Bluetooth, GSM, GPS, Geolocation, Wi-Fi, camera, and microphone. Users can connect and disconnect the battery manually using the switches. It also features a ‘Web Anonymiser’ to be anonymous on the web. But as The Verge said, “John McAfee’s ‘hack-proof’ phone doomed to fail”. The reason is that hardware is not relative to security. The phone uses Android so it’s as vulnerable as any Android. Moreover, the privacy in fact compromised by physical switches as anyone can access it if he has physical access to the smartphone.

John McAfee Net Worth

John McAfee

The cybersecurity legend was once one of the richest guys in the business. His brilliant business strategy combined with the massive need of protection in the early stages of computing made his company McAfee associates a massive success. In just a few years after the launch of McAfee Anti-Virus, the company was making $5 million each year. McAfee resigned from the McAfee Associates in 1994 and sold his shares.

This made his net worth shot up to $100 million. But McAfee wasted much of his wealth on luxury hotels, property and art pieces. By the end of 2009, his net worth declined to mere a fraction of his previous wealth. He took a hit in the 2008 financial crisis and John McAfee net worth could not be recovered again. As of 2017, John McAfee Net Worth is $4 million dollars.

John McAfee Personal Life

The expert computer programmer and the virus security pioneer John McAfee lives a very hectic life. His journey from a punch-card programmer, to a computer virus pioneer and to a person of interest in the murder case of his own neighbor, is just the material for a Hollywood film. John McAfee, just like many other self-made millionaires, had his humble beginnings and he also had his fall.

While his life story has much to inspire us what to be, he also reminds us what not to be. His father killed himself and it shook him to the core. He didn’t have much luck with his first marriage as well. But while on the run from Belize law enforcement, he hired a prostitute and fell in love with her. His lifestyle so messed up that there made a documentary movie on his dangerous life.

John McAfee

John McAfee Wife

John McAfee’s beautiful wife, Janice Dyson, used to work as a prostitute before they met. He met Janice Dyson in December 2012 when he deported by the Guatemala law enforcement to Florida U.S. McAfee on the run from the Belize Law Enforcement as he considered a person of interest in the murder case of his neighbor.

The Belize Government had seized all his property and bank accounts. When McAfee arrived in Florida, he walked into a restaurant where he crossed paths with his future wife. McAfee had a brick of 5 dollar bills borrowed from a friend, which he paid to hire Janice’s services for the night. But as they shared their stories, they fell in love with each other. In an interview with ABC’s 20/20, Janice described the experience as,

“It was, I don’t know how to say it, magical — ’cause he saw the hurt that was there. He saw the human in me, you know what I’m saying? He thought I was worthy enough of a second chance.”

John McAfee Disturbing Childhood

The security vigilante haunted by the disturbing memories of his childhood. John McAfee was born to a British mother and an American father appointed in the US military during the World War II. John was born at the end of the WW2 and his parents moved to America. World War II was a terrible mark in the history of mankind. As many other soldiers fighting in World War II, John father a civilian recruited in the Army as the need of time and opportunity. But he not prepared for it.

The war left him disturbed and unsettled. He couldn’t return to a normal lifestyle again and went into depression. His father worked as a road surveyor and tried his luck on several other jobs. He became a raging alcoholic. His father shot himself when John was 15. The horrible memory of his father’s suicide has haunted him all his life. In fact, McAfee stated in an interview that he wakes up to the disturbing fact every day.

John McAfee Drug Addiction

McAfee studied Mathematics in the Roanoke College and started his first business there. It was a small business of selling magazines door to door which made him a little fortune. But he fell victim to the same problem as his father but the difference was that he didn’t kill himself but his problems got worse. When John McAfee was working at the Missouri Pacific Railroad to schedule the trains, he got his hands on LSD.

He started taking enhancing drugs on work and used to go to work while tripping on LSD. According to WIRED, he bought a bag of a relatively new psychedelic known as DMT. He snorted a line of DMT but experience nothing. He did the whole bag and suddenly, all hell broke loose. John started tripping and freaked out. John ran outside the office and hid behind a trash can hoping that no one would see him. He never went back to that job again.

John McAfee

John McAfee Controversies

McAfee moved to Silicon Valley and struggled to recover but failed. While working at the company called Omex, he did coke and drunk scotch at his desk regularly. He said in an interview that things that led him to do drugs were his loneliness and paranoia. He felt alone and scared and so he saw refuge in escaping the everyday life through the gateway of drugs.

But he eventually decided to seek help and struggles to recover. When the first computer virus hit the cyber world, he started his own new company in defense. That’s when he finally became sober. But even that didn’t last well. It did work for a few years. But after he sold his shares of McAfee Associates, his various investments failed and he took a hit from the 2008 financial crisis. He wasted a lot of his fortune and ran off to Belize. His compound in the middle of the jungle was the mess of sex, guns, and drugs.

John McAfee International Fugitive

McAfee ran off to the jungle in Belize to start his medicine company but all he did there was sex, guns, and drugs. He became a big mess. John McAfee had 11 dogs that barked at every hour. His neighbor Greg Faull disturbed by his dogs and his habits. He gathered a few locals and complained about him but nothing changed. A few days later, 4 dogs found poisoned. The very next day, someone murdered Greg Faull. He was shot and found dead in his house which led the locals to suspect John McAfee for the murder.

Not only John had plenty of guns lying around in his house, but he also had a reason to have a grudge against Faull. Belize police wanted to question him but before that could happen, he fled the country. Police raided his house and it turned out that all the guns had permits and drugs were legal according to the laws of Belize. Belize government seized all his property and bank accounts. He ran off to Guatemala and deported to Florida U.S. for crossing the borders illegally. He kept claiming his innocence and the murder case of Greg Faull is unsolved to date.

John McAfee President Candidate

The Anti-Virus software pioneer is at it again, now from corrupt computer programs to corrupt bureaucrats. The cybersecurity legend John McAfee announced his candidacy for the President of the United States in the 2016 Presidential Elections on 8 September 2015. He first announced to seek the oval office as the candidate of a new political party known as the Cyber Party. But he switched his candidacy from the Cyber Party to Libertarian Party on 24 December 2015.

John McAfee polled consistently among the top 3 presidential candidates for the Libertarian Party. He endorsed by the talk show host Adam Kokesh, Science fiction author, and activist L. Neil Smith and Libertarian presidential candidate Joy Waymire. John announced his vice presidential choice to be the photographer Judd Weiss. McAfee lost the elections however to his rival Gary Johnson from the same party as he won about 1.2 million votes.

John McAfee Books

Computer Viruses – John McAfee

John McAfee has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. But he became genuinely interested in early computing. He worked at a punch card coding company which taught him the basics of early computing. He taught himself coding and worked as a programmer for two years at NASA. John started a new company to fight against the computer viruses and released his own anti-virus called McAfee Anti-Virus.

All the experience and knowledge that McAfee gained throughout the years, has been documented in his book Computer Viruses. The full title of the book is “Computer Viruses, Worms, Data Diddlers, Killer Programs, and Other Threats to Your System: What They Are, How They Work, and how to Defend Your PC, Mac, Or Mainframe”. McAfee co-authored it with Colin Haynes and released it in 1989. The book didn’t do so well and it is rated 2.5/5 on AbeBooks.

Into the Heart of Truth

After the malware and viruses in computers, John McAfee took on the adventure for the clarity of soul as he founded the Relational Yoga Mandiram in Woodland Park Co. Into the Heart of Truth is the detailed description of Relational Yoga. It states the history of Yoga while providing practices which help you develop a deep self-awareness. Woodland Publications published this 208-page book on July 27th, 2001. The book can order on Amazon and has a rating of 4/5 on Goodreads which, in fact, any book would nearly have nowadays, if you put Yoga and Spiritual in the title.

The Fabric of Self: Meditations on Vanity and Love

After the McAfee Associates, John McAfee lived off his counseling gigs and self-development lectures for a long time. He learned new self-discovery techniques and developed the techniques of Relational Yoga. He taught self-improving techniques for 25 years. All the effective techniques that he developed in 25 years are stated in his book called The Fabric of Self. The book is 157 pages thick and was published by Woodland Publications on 10 September 2001. This book has a rating of 4/5 on Goodreads.

The Secret of the Yamas: A Spiritual Guide to Yoga

Developing a computer program to fight computer viruses is what made John McAfee a millionaire. But his book on computer viruses didn’t do so well. Instead, his books on Self-Discovery sold very well. So much that he wrote three books back to back and all of them were published in the same year i.e. 2001. The third book that he wrote on Yoga was under the title The Secret of the Yamas: A Spiritual Guide to Yoga. The book seems to be a spiritual guide to the practical Yoga. It goes into detail about the relationship of physical postures and the spirit of Yoga. It teaches individuals to fully integrate Yoga into their life. The book is 81 pages thick and published by Woodland Publishers on 1 April 2001. Could it be an April Fools prank? Who knows.

Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee

John McAfee

The crazy and hectic life of the cybersecurity legend John McAfee is really fascinating. The rise and fall of his career appear to be unpredictable. His experience as a businessman who invested in numerous ventures is really valuable. The vivid era of his life is the time that he spent running away from Belize law enforcement. This era of his life highlighted in the documentary made by Showtime Networks. The documentary series began airing in September 2016. It covered the sexual assault case of Alison Adonizio, his former business partner. And the documentary also covered the murder case of his neighbor named Gregory Faull. The documentary directed by Nanette Burstein.

In an interview with Kathleen Hayes and Pimm Fox of Bloomberg on 8 September 2016, John McAfee questioned the authenticity of the facts in the documentary. He said that “Belize is a third-world banana republic and you can go down there and make any story you want if you pay your interviewees, which Showtime did.”

John McAfee – King of the jungle

The cybersecurity vigilante fled to Belize and built a “Colonel Kurtz-like compound of guns, sex, and madness” as the WIRED writer Joshua Davis describes it. The WIRED writer sent to investigate the weird life of John McAfee in the middle of the Jungle. Joshua considered the task tedious and uninteresting but as he got there, he pulled into McAfee’s slippery reality and escalating paranoia along with the murder of his neighbor. The article was dark but humorous to the audience. It became so famous that WIRED decided to publish it as an ebook on 15 November 2012. The title of the ebook was “John McAfee’s Last Stand”.

In 2017, a dark comedy movie based on the WIRED article by Joshua Davis announced. The movie script was written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. The role of the cybersecurity legend confirmed to played by Johnny Depp. The title of the movie is “King of the Jungle”. The movie tells the story of John McAfee and his wildlife in the middle of the Jungle through the perspective of the WIRED writer Joshua Davis.

John McAfee Bitcoin Predictions

McAfee has interested in Crypto Currencies like Bitcoin for a long time now. And this interest has shown itself in his recent investments and the decisions he took as the CEO of the MGT Capital Investments. He also shifted the focus of the company from social gaming to cybersecurity and then to mining and biding of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

But his love and passion for blockchain marvels that are the cryptocurrencies have led him to be an online guru. He is all for the cryptocurrencies. He even challenged to “Eat his own d*ck” if the Bitcoin value didn’t exceed $500,000 by 2020. Now in a recent tweet, he has changed it to $1,000,000 until 2020 given the rise in the Bitcoin value. He has even dedicated his web blog to cryptocurrencies. And he even accused of taking cash for promoting lesser-known cryptocurrencies.

John McAfee Web-Blog

The cybersecurity vigilante started to document his daily chronicles on his web blog registered under the URL “whoismcafee.com” in 2009. He started his blog talking about his life and struggles after fleeing Belize. He was a fugitive at that time and a person of interest in the murder case of his own neighbor. John blogged regularly about the personas and techniques he used to avoid being arrested. After all that frenzy, he began to talk about the cybersecurity, controversies, and politics. But recently he has devoted himself, his company and his web blog to talk about the Block Chains wonders and Crypto Currencies.

John McAfee YouTube Channel

Other than his blog, the cybersecurity guru has one other outlet for his opinions and debates. And that is his official YouTube channel that created on 20 November 2012. He uses this streaming site to upload his interviews and other videos of him giving his advice. He talks about cybersecurity, politics, ideas, more politics, his presidential candidacy, how the world is spying on you and also BitCoins.

His persona has had a 180-degree shift since the time he launched the McAfee Associates. His YouTube channel has 11 million views overall. This YouTube channel also works as a marketing tool for his new ventures and the presidential campaign. As of the end of 2017, the most recent video he uploaded on his channel is another interview. The video is titled “John McAfee on Infowars: Nothing Can Stop The Blockchain Revolution”.

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