Michael Francis McElroy for The New York Times / Aaron Swartz in 2009.
Aaron Swartz, a wizardly programmer who as a teenager helped develop code that delivered ever-changing Web content to users and later became a steadfast crusader to make that Information freely available, was found dead on Friday in his New York apartment.
He was 26.
An uncle, Michael Wolf, said that Mr. Swartz had apparently hanged himself, and that Mr. Swartz’s girlfriend had discovered the body.
At 14, Mr. Swartz helped create Rss, the nearly ubiquitous tool that allows users to Subscribe to Online Information. He later became an Internet folk hero, pushing to make many Web files free and open to the public. But in July 2011, he was indicted on federal charges of gaining illegal access to JSTOR, a subscription-only service for distributing scientific and literary journals, and downloading 4.8 million articles and documents, nearly the entire library.