Grateful Dead Lyricist and Internet Pioneer, Dead at 70

Grateful Dead Lyricist and Internet Pioneer, Dead at 70

John Perry Barlow, an influential internet philosopher and cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, died Wednesday at the age of 70.

The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir has paid tribute to Barlow on Twitter, writing: "This life is fleeting, as we all know - the Muse we serve is not".

"With a broken heart I have to announce that EFF's founder visionary, and our ongoing inspiration John Perry Barlow, passed away quietly in his sleep this morning", wrote Cohn.

"We will miss Barlow and his wisdom for decades to come, and he will always be an integral part of EFF", said a statement by the group's executive director, Cindy Cohn.

She went on, "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". He also wrote lyrics for several of GD keyboardist Brent Mydland's songs in the 1980s, such as "Tons of Steel", "Just a Little Light", "We Can Run", "Blow Away" and "I Will Take You Home".

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Barlow said he had chose to try his hand at writing lyrics mostly to attract women.

He was born on October 3, 1947, in northwestern Wyoming, on a ranch a great-uncle had started in 1907. He graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, with a degree in comparative religion.

Kapor and Barlow began collaborating after both were sought out by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents trying to investigate computer crimes. Music fanatics may also remember Barlow as the man behind the Dead's songs such as "Mexicali Blues", "Hell in a Bucket", "Estimated Prophet" and "Throwing Stones", among other anthems.

The duo partnered with another software entrepreneur, John Gilmore, to create the EFF, which hired lawyers and sought to raise awareness about the importance of protecting civil liberties online. "You have no sovereignty where we gather", Barlow wrote. The school describes him as a "retired Wyoming cattlerancher" and a father of three daughters-Leah Justine, Anna Winter and Amelia. His memoir, "Mother American Night: My Life in Crazy Times", is due to be published later this year. In 2012, he helped found the Freedom Of The Press Foundation for "promoting and funding aggressive, public-interest journalism focused on exposing mismanagement, corruption, and law-breaking in government".