Aaron Swartz, the co-founder of Reddit. / Courtesy of Fred Benenson/Flickr/CBSNews.com
NEW YORK (CBS/AP) -- Authorities say a co-founder of Reddit and computer activist who fought to make online content free to the public has been found dead.
A spokeswoman for New York's Medical Examiner says 26-year-old Aaron Swartz hanged himself in his Brooklyn apartment. He was found Friday.
Swartz's death was confirmed by his attorney, Elliot Peters, in an email to MIT's The Tech newspaper.
"The tragic and heartbreaking information you received is, regrettably, true," Peters wrote.
Swartz, co-founder of the non-profit political action group Demand Progress, was a prodigy who as a young teenager helped create RSS. He co-founded the social news website Reddit, and directed the political action group Demand Progress that campaigns against Internet censorship.
In 2011, he was arrested in Boston and charged with stealing millions of scientific journals from a computer archive at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Swartz pleaded not guilty. His federal trial on computer fraud charges was to begin next month. If convicted, he could have faced more than 50 years in prison and up to $4 million in fines.