Memories of Aaron

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. 

We will miss you Aaron…

- Bryon Cole 
Sun, 13th Jan — 1 note
My memories of Aaron

The first time I met Aaron was at an Ethiopian restaurant on U Street in DC with my friends Stephanie, Adam, and Darcy in 2009.  It was the very beginning of the founding of the PCCC.  We sat outside on green plastic chairs.  I don’t remember that I knew anything about him during that meal, but I liked him immediately.  We talked about the internet and programming, that’s all I recall.  And I remember thinking — what a sweet, geeky, interesting, introvert - he’s my kind of person.

Aaron was briefly a fellow at NOI, through which he wanted to understand the Hill, so he went to spend time with our mutual friend Matt in a congressional office.  When talking about his experience later, he said — It doesn’t make sense why more people don’t just go over to the Hill and talk to the people in the offices to try and get them to do what we want.  It sounds simple, but that statement showed a clarity about our political process that most of DC still fails to understand.

It wasn’t until late 2012 that I started to understand what was happening with the prosecution of Aaron, and the potential for decades of jail time.  I talked to his partner Taren and our friend Becky.    The last time I saw him was at my house in December of 2012 after the Rootscamp conference.  We spent time together late into the night, with some my favorite people in organizing - Becky, Mia, Patrick, Nicole, Tom, Anna, Jonathan - and Aaron and Taren.    I remember saying goodbye to them in the early hours of the next day, as they walked out the front door, into the calm, dark, chilly night.
Taren emailed me before the holidays to say the trial had been pushed back to April 1, and it was welcomed good news.  It was the last I talked to either of them until I heard the news of Aaron’s death yesterday.  I am heartbroken for the loss of Aaron.  For Aaron’s family and for his partner Taren.  For the future that would have been better with him in it.  And I am angry at the prosecutor, for making the last two years of his life so very difficult and his future so uncertain.
- Judith Freeman
Sun, 13th Jan — 0 notes
In memory of Aaron Swartz

At an age of 50 I came to know Aaron Swartz’s human voice on the internet and his struggle to keep the net free and independent. It’s so sad that he is dead and economic forces are much to blame. We can honor him by continuing the struggle against legislations that will narrow the internet down to economic interests only. An independent internet can destroy despots and dictatorships. The money is bound. The spirit is free! 

With regards,
Aud Jorunn Hakestad, Norway
Sun, 13th Jan — 3 notes

We met over a decade ago and didn’t stay in touch but even that was enough to know you were a special human. We are robbed of something precious to have lost you so young.
- Manar Hussain 

Sun, 13th Jan — 1 note

Aaron, I feel terrible that you saw no other option than to take your own life. I admire your courage and wish your family and friends lots of strenght. Rest in peace.
- Caren Heijne

Sun, 13th Jan — 0 notes

Thanks for time you shared with worldwide followers , for your thoughts and input. We will continue your work!

- Monika Geicke-Bruder

Sun, 13th Jan — 0 notes
I wish I could have helped, I wish I’d known more

I didn’t have a chance to meet Aaron Schwartz.

I had heard his name referenced to Reddit and his work throughout the years but, to my eternal shame, I never found out more about him.

Going back now at this sad time and reading, watching and listening I wish I had.

There are millions of us who use Reddit and who have benefitted from Aaron’s work. If it is possible to ‘miss’ someone you never met then that is what this is.

I feel angry about what happened and I feel sad that the world has lost such an amazing person. I wish there was something I could do.

But there is one thing I can do; I will tell people about what Aaron did and encourage them to read more and maybe, hopefully that can make a difference he would be proud of.

- Liveware

Sun, 13th Jan — 2 notes
In honor of an outstanding person

Dear humanity,…

it’s a bad day for all of us, loosing such a stunning person full of visions for a better world.
Although, I’m an inconsiderable young man from germany, I just wanna express my deep teariness about this loss.
The spirit of Aaron will survive and hopefully be the beginning of something beautiful new!
Deepest sympathy to his family, relatives and friends.

- Leif Schmedemann

Sun, 13th Jan — 1 note

Even though I never met Aaron, he effected my life tremendously with his work, passion, and commitment to his ideals. I am deeply saddened that another beautiful, yet tortured soul forgot for a moment that there is so much love for them in this world, and now they are gone. It has to stop, if you are sad depressed lonely having terrible thoughts tell me, tell anyone, tell everyone, we love you, and we can help if you do, afterwards there are only tears. - Brian McCaffrey brimcc on reddit or at

Sun, 13th Jan — 1 note
Everybody dies but not everybody lives

I have bumped into the news of the computer wizard Aaron Swartz’s passing away from CNN late yesterday. I started reading more of the posts and news thanks to the Internet, all FREE. 

As I read more and more, I recalled the stories of John Walton’s unexpected death (he created Children’s scholarship fund), as well as my hero Alex Scott, the Lemonade Stand founder’s glorious 8 years in this world ( who started the Alex Lemonade Stand Fundation ).

When time is hard and I have no money but debts, many times I have almost decided to change the route of my to make money, even though after at least a year’s (in hard time too) thought in deciding to make it really useful and do really no evil. Now I decided to not changing any more and to make it all FREE with useful information. Thanks Aaron.

The book “All Things Shining” is one of my favorite books, which mentioned one of Aaron’s favorite authors it seems, David Wallace. I see Mr. Aaron Swartz shining in the dawn.

This is the third memorial email or note I wrote to the family and friends in grief. First to Miss Alex Scott’s family, second to Mr. John Walton’s family.

My father passed away relative young, so I understand some of the feeling. Time heals. As part of the lyrics from Nicki Minaj’s Moment 4 Life, “everybody dies but not everybody lives”.

Andrew Wan
creator and programmer for

Sun, 13th Jan — 1 note