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Tech Mogul John McAfee Held a $100 Million Fortune at His Peak; What Was His Net Worth at the Time of Death?

John McAfee's net worth was estimated to be around $4 million at the time of his death in 2021.
UPDATED DEC 13, 2023
Cover Image Source: John McAfee | Getty Images | Joe Raedle
Cover Image Source: John McAfee | Getty Images | Joe Raedle
Name John David McAfee
Net Worth $4 Million at the time of death
Sources of Income Entrepreneurship, Software Business
Gender Male
Date of Birth September 18, 1945 - June 23, 2021
Age 75 Years
Nationality United States of America
Profession Programmer, Businessperson

John McAfee was a renowned British-American technology entrepreneur, who founded McAfee Associates, a pioneering company in the field of computer anti-virus software. Born on September 18, 1945, McAfee had a remarkable career marked by both financial success and controversy. His contributions to the tech industry and his tumultuous personal life made him a prominent figure in the business world.

John McAfee at the Beacon Hotel | Getty Images | Joe Raedle
John McAfee at the Beacon Hotel | Getty Images | Joe Raedle

John McAfee's net worth was estimated to be around $4 million at the time of his death in 2021. However, during the peak of his software career, his net worth exceeded $100 million. His wealth originated from the creation of McAfee Associates, a company that revolutionized computer security with its anti-virus software. Unfortunately, McAfee's fortune dwindled due to a series of bad investments, including substantial losses during the 2008 global recession. He also made risky financial decisions, such as betting on Lehman Brothers' bonds. These circumstances led to the erosion of his net worth over time, per Celebrity Net Worth.


In 2022, a retrospective analysis of John McAfee's peak net worth reveals a complex financial journey marked by both success and subsequent challenges. At the pinnacle of his career as the founder and CEO of McAfee Associates, a prominent antivirus software company, McAfee amassed a significant fortune, estimated to be north of $100 million. However, a series of unfortunate events, including bad investments and the impact of the 2008 global recession, led to a substantial decline in his net worth. McAfee's decision to sell his entire stake in the company in the mid-1990s, and its acquisition by Intel for $7.7 billion in 2010, further contributed to the missed opportunity for immense wealth. Additionally, legal troubles, such as his involvement in controversial incidents in Belize and subsequent arrests, added to the financial turbulence. Despite facing challenges, McAfee's net worth fluctuated over the years, eventually settling at $4 million at the time of his death in 2021. This analysis underscores the interplay of business decisions, legal issues, and external factors that shaped McAfee's financial trajectory.

John McAfee's primary source of income was his involvement in the technology industry. He gained substantial wealth through his company, McAfee Associates, which developed and sold anti-virus software. His contributions to computer security established him as a pioneer in the field.

John McAfee at the Beacon Hotel | Getty Images | Joe Raedle
John McAfee at the Beacon Hotel | Getty Images | Joe Raedle

One of McAfee's most notable business ventures was the establishment of McAfee Associates in 1987. The company's anti-virus software became widely recognized for its effectiveness in protecting computers from malware threats. Despite selling his stake in the company for $100 million, the software continued to thrive under different ownerships, ultimately being acquired by Intel and then spun off into a separate entity.

While specific details about John McAfee's total assets are not readily available, his wealth included real estate properties, including a mansion in Hawaii and a ranch in New Mexico. However, due to financial difficulties, he was forced to sell some of these assets at a significant loss.

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John McAfee, the enigmatic entrepreneur and founder of McAfee antivirus software, left behind a legacy marked by myth and controversy surrounding his death. His life took a tumultuous turn with legal issues, including being implicated in the death of his neighbor and facing numerous arrests. Amidst financial setbacks and the loss of a once formidable fortune due to bad investments, McAfee's journey was marred by eccentricities. His escape from Belize, claims of faking heart attacks, and subsequent run-ins with the law added layers to the myth surrounding him. In 2021, facing extradition to the U.S. on tax evasion charges, McAfee allegedly died by suicide in a Spanish prison. However, allegations made by his ex-girlfriend, Samantha Herrera, as explored in the documentary "Running with the Devil," suggest that McAfee may have orchestrated his death, adding another layer of complexity to the controversies surrounding his life and demise.

John McAfee's personal life 

In the mid-1990s, John McAfee sold his stake in his company, initially amassing $100 million. Had he kept it, the company's later acquisition by Intel for $7.7 billion could have made him a billionaire. Unfortunately, poor investments and decisions greatly diminished his wealth. He was forced to sell assets like a $25 million Colorado estate for just $5.7 million along with properties in Hawaii and New Mexico and a private jet. After the 2008 financial crisis, his net worth declined further, leading to his move to Belize in 2009.


John McAfee's personal life was marked by various controversies and legal issues. He faced allegations of unlicensed drug manufacturing, for possession of an unlicensed weapon and was even named a person of interest in a murder case in Belize. He faced multiple arrests, including charges related to tax evasion. McAfee's adventurous and often eccentric lifestyle along with his confrontations with the law contributed to his media presence.

Legal battles and their impact on his personal and financial life

John McAfee's legal tangles had a profound impact on both his personal and financial well-being. After achieving success as the founder of McAfee Associates and amassing a substantial fortune, he faced a series of setbacks, including arrests for unlicensed drug manufacturing, possession of an unlicensed weapon, and later, investigations related to the murder of his neighbor in Belize. These incidents led to his fleeing the country, seeking asylum, and subsequent arrest in Guatemala. The legal troubles continued with arrests in the United States for driving under the influence and possession of a firearm while intoxicated. Additionally, he reportedly faced wrongful death lawsuits and tax-related charges. The culmination of these legal challenges resulted in the depletion of his once significant wealth, with reports suggesting his net worth dwindled to around $4 million by the time of his death in 2021.


What was John McAfee's net worth at the time of his death?

At the time of his death, John McAfee's net worth was estimated to be $4 million.

What finally happened to John McAfee?

He killed himself by hanging.

Who owns McAfee now?

Symphony Technology Group (STG) has owned McAfee Enterprise since March 2021. 

How much is McAfee's company worth?

As of December 2023, McAfee has a market cap of $4.88 Billion.

What did John McAfee sell his company for?

In 2010, Intel bought McAfee Associates for $7.7 billion.

Is McAfee a billionaire?

No, he wasn't a billionaire.

Who is the CEO of McAfee?

Greg Johnson is the CEO of McAfee now.

How old was John McAfee when he died?

He was 75 years old at the time of his death.

How many times was John McAfee married?

John McAfee married three times.

Where is John McAfee's wife now?

He was married to Janice Dyson.

Who is McAfee married to?

He was married to Janice Dyson before he died in 2021.

Did Janice McAfee get his money?

No, after John's legal battles, there was no money for Janice McAfee.