Internet pioneer, songwriter John Perry Barlow dies at 70


John Perry Barlow, an internet activist and lyricist for the Grateful Dead, has died.

The digital-rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation said Barlow died early Wednesday in his sleep at home in San Francisco. He was 70. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Barlow co-founded the EFF in 1990 to champion free expression and privacy online. In a 1996 manifesto, the "Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace," he argued that the U.S. and other governments shouldn't impose their sovereignty on the "global social space we are building."

"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," Cindy Cohn, the EFF's executive director, said in a statement.

Barlow was born in rural Sublette County, Wyoming, in 1947 and grew up in Pinedale, where his parents were ranchers.

Barlow has said he grew up as a devout Mormon before leaping into the counterculture of the 1960s. He befriended Bob Weir, one of the Grateful Dead's founding members, when they were boarding school classmates at the Fountain Valley School in Colorado. Barlow graduated from Wesleyan University in 1969.

He later returned to Wyoming, where he ran a cattle ranch for nearly two decades and dabbled in Republican politics. He had been battling a variety of debilitating illnesses since 2015, according to supporters who organized a benefit concert for him in October.

Barlow co-wrote several songs for the Grateful Dead with Weir, including "Mexicali Blues," ''Black Throated Wind," ''Bombs Away," ''Heaven Help the Fool," ''Cassidy," ''I Need a Miracle," ''Lazy Lightnin'," ''Looks Like Rain," ''Lost Sailor," ''Money Money," ''My Brother Esau," ''Feel Like a Stranger," ''Saint of Circumstance," ''Supplication" and "This Time Forever." With keyboardist Brent Mydland, Barlow wrote "Blow Away," ''Just a Little Light" and "We Can Run." He also wrote songs for String Cheese Incident and Burning Spear.

"John had a way of taking life's most difficult things and framing them as challenges, therefore adventures," Weir said in an online post Wednesday. "He was to be admired for that, even emulated. He'll live on in the songs we wrote."

His survivors include three daughters and a granddaughter.

___

This story has been corrected to remove "Touch of Grey" and "Brown Eyed Woman," which Barlow did not write.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Rare yellow cardinal a ‘one in a million’ gem for birdwatchers in Alabama
Rare yellow cardinal a ‘one in a million’ gem for birdwatchers in Alabama

  Birdwatchers and biologists have been on the lookout for a rare, yellow cardinal that’s been spotted around central Alabama in Shelby County in recent weeks, AL.com reported. >> Read more trending news  The bird has been getting a lot of attention recently after  resident Charlie Stephenson first noticed it at her...
Drinking this type of tea could ruin your teeth, study says
Drinking this type of tea could ruin your teeth, study says

Do you love sipping tea? Beware of the fruity flavors, because they could be bad for your teeth, according to a new report.  Researchers from King's College London Dental Institute recently conducted a study, published in British Dental Journal, to determine how certain foods and drinks can affect tooth wear.  To do so, researchers...
This is how much you have to earn to be considered ‘rich’ in Atlanta, report says
This is how much you have to earn to be considered ‘rich’ in Atlanta, report says

It takes a lofty annual income to be considered upper-class. In fact, it’s more than $125,000 nationally, according to the Pew Research Center, but that number differs from city to city. » RELATED: Here’s how much you have to earn to be considered middle-class in Georgia The local median income plays a factor in the figure, so...
House releases Democrats’ rebuttal to GOP memo on alleged government surveillance abuses
House releases Democrats’ rebuttal to GOP memo on alleged government surveillance abuses

The House Intelligence Committee Saturday released the Democrats’ rebuttal to the Republican memo alleging the FBI and Department of Justice engaged in questionable tactics in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia.  >> Read more trending news ...
Terminally ill teen dies weeks after marrying high school sweetheart
Terminally ill teen dies weeks after marrying high school sweetheart

Dustin Snyder, the terminally ill teen who fulfilled his dying wish of marrying his high school sweetheart in January, has died after a battle with a rare form of cancer. The 19-year-old Valrico, Florida native “got his wings” on Friday according to his big sister Brittany Hails.  “I love you Dustin Wade Snyder,” Hails...
More Stories