Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow dead at 70

John Perry Barlow portrait with Declaration text

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) cofounder and activist John Perry Barlow has passed away.

That led him to partner with software entrepreneurs Mitch Kapor and John Gilmore to create the EFF, which hired lawyers and sought to raise awareness about the importance of protecting civil liberties online. A possible cause of death was not immediately available, but Barlow had been hospitalized periodically after suffering a heart attack in 2015. "He always saw the Internet as a fundamental place of freedom, where voices long silenced can find an audience and people can connect with others regardless of physical distance".

Barlow fought to make the Internet into "a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth".

More than a defender of the internet, Barlow had many guises in an uneven evolution from an only child whose nearest neighbour lived four miles away to a corporate consultant and citizen of the world.

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Born in Wyoming on October 3, 1947, Barlow graduated with a degree in comparative religion from Wesleyan University.

He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1969 and eventually returned to Wyoming, where he ran a cattle ranch for almost two decades and dabbled in libertarian and Republican politics, working on a congressional campaign for Richard B. Cheney, the future vice president in the George W. Bush administration.

Barlow was a poet, essayist, Internet pioneer and prominent cyber-libertarian.

He later returned to Wyoming, where he ran the family cattle ranch for almost two decades and dabbled in Republican politics. "John Perry Barlow, he set the bar high, with big boots to follow, and many will try, but no one will ever come close to the guy, for this grateful and graceful guru was one of a kind.".

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Barlow spent more than 20 years as a lyricist for the Grateful Dead.

In Wyoming, he was chairman of the Sublette County Republican Party and a coordinator for the 1978 congressional campaign of Dick Cheney, whose conservative politics Barlow later disavowed. He is survived by three daughters.

Barlow was a cofounder, with legendary whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a free speech nonprofit started in 2012.

"Governments of the Industrial World, you tired giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind". And we'll leave you with this, from "Cassidy": Fare thee well now, let your life proceed by its own design / Nothing to tell now, let the words be yours, I'm done with mine.

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