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Remembering Technology Wunderkind, Believed To Be First To Die In 9/11 Attacks

Daniel Lewin (left) huddled with co-workers for a meeting at Akamai in 1999. (Courtesy: Akamai Technologies, Inc.)

Daniel Lewin (left) huddled with co-workers for a meeting at Akamai in 1999. (Courtesy: Akamai Technologies, Inc.)

Danny Lewin was a young mathematical genius who wrote a set of algorithms that would create a faster, better Internet. After struggling for years to make ends meet, he co-founded Akamai Technologies, the hugely successful Internet content-delivery network that made him a billionaire virtually over night.

He was aboard American Airlines Flight 11 that took off from Boston. Nobody alive knows for sure exactly what happened before the jet crashed into the World Trade Center, but cell phone calls from flight attendants aboard the doomed flight said a Business Class passenger sitting in Danny Lewin’s seat fought with and was killed by the hijackers.

So it’s believed that Danny Lewin was the first person killed on 9/11. The story of his brief life — he was only 31 when he died — his huge accomplishments, and his death is told for the first time in a new book.

Guest

Molly Knight Raskin, journalist and author of “No Better Time: The Brief, Remarkable Life of Danny Lewin — The Genius Who Transformed The Internet”

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WBUR At the same time executives were making painful choices to stay afloat; they had to figure out how to replace their inspirational leader, without losing his inspiration.

WBUR There were many heroes that morning — you know, we’re talking about almost 3,000 people who died that day — and we will never get to know what their story is.


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