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John McAfee dies by suicide, hours after Spanish court authorized his extradition to U.S.

The eccentric technology innovator had been accused of tax evasion by the IRS.
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John McAfee, the tech innovator whose name is synonymous with antivirus software, died by suicide on Wednesday hours after a court approved his extradition from Spain to face U.S. tax evasion charges, officials said.

McAfee was found dead in his cell in Barcelona, following the Spanish High Court's preliminary ruling for his removal to the United States, a Catalonia court spokeswoman told NBC News.

McAfee's lawyer, Nishay K. Sanan, said in a statement: "John was and will always be remembered as a fighter."

John McAfee during a Bloomberg Television interview in Hong Kong Sept. 20, 2017.
John McAfee during a Bloomberg Television interview in Hong Kong Sept. 20, 2017.Anthony Kwan / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

"He tried to love this country but the U.S. government made his existence impossible," Sanan said. "They tried to erase him but they failed."

Guards at the Brians 2 penitentiary found McAfee unresponsive, and the jail's medical team certified his death, according to a statement from the regional Catalan government.

McAfee's lawyer told Reuters that the 75-year-old hanged himself in his cell.

The accused tax cheat was arrested at Barcelona airport in October 2020 and he's been fighting removal to the U.S. ever since, telling Spanish authorities he's being targeted for political reasons.

He still had an opportunity to appeal the court's extradition authorization.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit for additional resources.