Aaron Swartz

One does not have to agree with all of Aaron Swartz’s philosophies or actions to appreciate his genius and passion. He accomplished a massive amount before his death at age twenty-six and in his death we lost a luminary who would have surely provided great benefit to the world had his years been extended.

He played key roles in the creation of the RDF/XML specification, Markdown, growth of Reddit, creation of OpenLibrary, and DeadDrop. The list goes on. He is best known outside the technical community for attempting to provide open access to library journals protected behind pay-walls such as JSTOR and the resulting arrest and trial for doing so which ended tragically with his suicide.