Former fugitive and cybersecurity legend John McAfee says he may be running for president -- here's a look at his insane life

John McAfee is an enigma.

He built one of the biggest antivirus companies to date, and yet it’s what happened after this chapter of his life that made him a legend.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, McAfee said he may be running for president.

Though he was born in the UK and his mother is British, his father is American. The dual British-American citizen could still qualify.

“I cannot confirm the rumours that I am running for president in 2016,” McAfee said in his Facebook post. “My advisors and I will decide in the next few days.”

PostbyJohn Mcafee.

Running for president still would not be the craziest thing McAfee has done. McAfee once lived in Belize and allegedly got caught up with drugs and other illegal activities.

Here’s a look into who the man once was, what he became, and where he is now.

Trust us, it’s a wild ride.

John McAfee was born in the UK in the mid-1940s. His parents moved to Roanoke, Virginia, when he was young.

He began working at a company that coded punch-card systems in the late '60s. This taught him the basics of early computing. Using this information, he landed a job at Missouri Pacific Railroad, where he helped the company use a newfangled IBM computer system to help calibrate train schedules.


McAfee moved to Silicon Valley in the 1970s. He held numerous jobs at various tech companies (including a stint at NASA's Institute for Space Studies), all the while abusing drugs and alcohol. It wasn't until 1983 that he got sober. He was working at the company Omex, and found his daily routine to be snorting coke at his desk and drinking a bottle of scotch, according to Wired. He says he felt alone and scared, and finally decided to seek help.

Wikimedia Commons

Source: NBC San Diego, Wired

In the 1980s, McAfee worked at Lockheed. At the time, computers were still relatively new. In 1986 the first computer virus hit PCs. He read about these new programs that infiltrated computers and decided to start his own company to fight back.

Andreu Serra

McAfee Associates took off. By the end of the 1980s, the company was making $5 million a year, and some of the biggest companies in the world were using his antivirus platform.


Source: Digital Trends

Though only about tens of thousands of computers were infected, Michelangelo propelled McAfee to go public, and it turned into a multimillion-dollar business.

Joe Raedle/Getty

In 1994, McAfee set his sights for greener pastures and resigned from McAfee. Two years later he sold his shares, which gave him about $100 million.


In 2008, however, the economic collapse caught up to him. One report said that his fortune had shrunk from $100 million to as little as $4 million.

Joe Raedle/Getty

Source: The New York Times

In the late 2000s, McAfee decided to sell his land and move to Belize. There he wanted to go into the world of antibiotics. He believed that with the help of microbiologist Allison Adonizio he could build a product that used plants to combat illnesses. The company was called Quorumex.

In 2012, he was considered a 'person of interest' when his neighbour Gregory Faull was shot to death, according to Reuters. McAfee fled after being questioned by the Belize government.

Joe Raedle/Getty

Source: Reuters

McAfee was arrested in Guatemala. This could have reportedly been because of Vice, which flew down two reporters to interview him. By mistake, Vice posted pictures of McAfee that still had GPS coordinates attached to them. Shortly after these events, Guatemalan police caught up with McAfee, arresting him on charges of illegal entry to the country. While detained, McAfee suffered a series of heart-related health issues. Ultimately, he was expelled from Guatemala and sent back to the US.


Source: Gawker

Following this, a media frenzy ensued. Everyone wanted to know who he was, where he was going, and if he was crazy.

Joe Raedle/Getty

McAfee didn't make things any easier for himself. In 2013, he uploaded a bizarre video entitled 'How To Uninstall McAfee Antivirus.' It showed him surrounded by scantily clad women while trying to uninstall the software he invented, which he denounced after leaving the company. The video also showed guns and allusions to drugs and drug use, although it was undoubtedly meant to be some sort of parody.


Source: YouTube

In August, McAfee was arrested on charges of DUI and handgun possession. In a Facebook post, he admitted to driving under the influence of Xanax but blamed his doctor for not specifying that driving while under the influence of the drug could be dangerous.

Henderson County Police


McAfee has kept a sporadic public persona. He reportedly lives in Portland, Oregon. He now sometimes blogs about security, privacy, and freedom.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.