NEW YORK - Aaron Swartz, the Internet political activist who co-wrote the initial specification for RSS, has committed suicide, a relative told CNN Saturday. He was 26.
"Great minds carry heavy burdens," wrote one user on Reddit, a popular social media website that Swartz helped develop and popularize following a merger in 2006.
Swartz also co-founded Demand Progress, a political action group that campaigns against Internet censorship.
A young prodigy, his passion pushed limits and landed him in legal troubles in recent years.
In 2011, he was arrested in Boston for alleged computer fraud and illegally obtaining documents from protected computers. He was later indicted from an incident in which he allegedly stole millions of online documents from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He pleaded not guilty in September, according to MIT's "The Tech" newspaper.
Two years earlier, the FBI investigated him after he released millions of U.S. federal court documents online. No charges were filed in that case.
Swartz, who completed a fellowship at Harvard's Ethics Center Lab on Institutional Corruption, frequently blogged about his life, success and personal struggles. In some instances, he wrote about death.
"There is a moment, immediately before life becomes no longer worth living, when the world appears to slow down and all its myriad details suddenly become brightly, achingly apparent," he wrote in a 2007 post entitled "A Moment Before Dying."
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Click on the region names in the map below to see news from that region.
RIGHT NOW: Top Stories
A man riding a bicycle has died after he was struck by a vehicle in Phoenix Friday night.
Phoenix police officers, family and friends gathered Saturday morning to remember an officer who was killed in the line of duty last weekend.
All weekend long characters from Superman to Ironman are converging on the Phoenix Convention Center for Phoenix Comicon.
It’s graduation time and one student at Perry High School in Gilbert has had to overcome a lot more than most to graduate with honors.
We have to get through another very warm day but soon temperatures will get cooler and it's just in time for the Memorial Day holiday.
University spokesman Dennis Brown said Saturday night that Everett Golson, who had three years of eligibility left after not playing as a freshman, was no longer enrolled at Notre Dame as of Friday.