John David McAfee was born on a U.S. Army base in the United Kingdom, but his parents soon took him to the United States and raised him in Salem, Virginia. In the 1960's, he attended Roanoke College and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics. Much later, in 2008, the same institution recognized him with an honorary Doctor of Science degree.|
Throughout his life, McAfee has gravitated towards software programming. He held a number of jobs in that industry after college, until one day, while working at Lockheed Martin, he became inspired to write a program for the elimination of computer viruses – the first of its kind. He founded McAfee associates shortly thereafter, a company that became so successful that he was able to quit his job at Lockheed and run his business full-time. McAfee Associates continued to perform well, and in the 1990's, John McAfee sold his stake in the corporation and became a wealthy man.
In 2012, while living in the Central American nation of Belize, McAfee's home was raided by police and he was arrested on suspicion of unlicensed drug manufacturing and possession of an unlicensed weapon. He was released without being charged, but his legal troubles were not over. Later that same year, Belizean police again sought him, this time as a person of interest in the murder of one of his neighbors. Explaining later that he feared the police would kill him, McAfee fled the country rather than surrender himself or wait to be taken. He ran to Guatemala, where he was arrested for illegal entry into that nation, and eventually deported back to the United States. He is still technically a wanted fugitive in Belize, but the Belizean government has made no effort to continue their pursuit of him. Meanwhile, he has run afoul of American police, too – just in 2015, he was arrested in Henderson County, Tennessee, on charges of driving under the influence and possession of a firearm while intoxicated.
McAfee runs on a platform that he succinctly states as “Privacy. Freedom. Technology.” He is a known privacy advocate and has expressed concerns on the matter before, at one time even warning people not to use smartphones due to the extensive spying he alleges is conducted through these devices by their manufacturers, and disclosed only in the depths of the user agreements that few actually read. He also pledges to run the first electronic-only presidential campaign, during which he promises to hold online “Fireside Chats” that will allow him to communicate personally with Americans as if he were sitting in their living room. To this end, he laments with tongue-in-cheek regret that he will be neither shaking hands nor kissing babies, making no personal appearances during his campaign. He even questions the value of presidential debates and says he will attend these functions only if his advisers recommend he do so, as he doubts he will ever convince his rivals to vote for him - and apologizes to them if, should he win the election, this causes them to feel that he does not represent them as their president.
McAfee and his work are well-known in 21st century American society, but his bid for president is markedly less famous. Should this change, he will surely have to answer difficult questions about his legal history, both concerning the murder investigation in Belize and his alcohol-related arrest in the US. If he can successfully address these concerns, however, he may prove an attractive candidate to voters worried about government intrusion into privacy and favoring the implementation of modern technology.