Software to social justice
(Guardian (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) While he was to go on to become a standard-bearer for internet freedom and activism, Aaron Swartz's most lauded achievement dates back to his days as a 14-year-old programmer, when he helped develop the code behind RSS, the tool used to gather updates from blogs, news headlines, audio and video.
Born in Chicago, his father ran a software company and Swartz is credited with creating his first web application at 13. He attended Stanford but left after one year and founded a software company that merged in 2005 with the social news and entertainment site Reddit.
From 2010 to 2011 he was a fellow at Harvard University and also worked at MIT with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, pictured left. By now he was moving into activism for open data and government, and was a co-founder of Demand Progress, which promotes online campaigns on social justice issues. Ben Quinn
(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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