Award-winning founder of anti-virus software dies

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Award-winning founder of anti-virus software dies

Dr Alan Solomon was a pioneer of the technology industry

Louisa Walters is Features Editor at the Jewish News and specialises in food and travel writing

Dr Alan Solomon, creator of Dr. Solomon’s Anti-Virus Toolkit, has passed away, aged 75, after a long battle with liver cancer.

Dr. Solomon’s Anti-Virus Toolkit was first created in 1988 and was launched commercially in 1991, rivalling market leaders Norton Anti-Virus and McAfee VirusScan. In 1993, Dr. Solomon’s Anti-Virus Toolkit was awarded the Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement. Five years later, in 1998, McAfee bought Dr. Solomon’s Group plc for $642 million, ditching its own engine and to this day using the programme that Dr Solomon wrote.

Solomon, who was born in 1948, grew up in Stamford Hill and showed early signs of genius. As a toddler he would add up the calculations on the receipt when his mother took him shopping, to make sure the shop’s calculations were correct.

According to his daughter Jen he “had an IQ higher than Einstein.” He gained entry to Cambridge University a year early, aged 17, where he studied maths. He would attend MENSA meetings and would always beat the other members at games they played.

Solomon married Susan in 1973 at Golders Green Synagogue and they went on to have two daughters, Jen and Angie.

Solomon was a prolific blogger, writing about computers and caching, racking up over 2000 posts dating back to 2011. Some of his most well-known blogs were his arguments with phone scammers, a pastime which brought him great joy.

Cybersecurity expert Graham Cluley, who worked with Alan Solomon for many years, says: “He was a larger-than-life character with a brilliant mind and a great sense of fun. I remember my days working with Alan at S&S International (which later became Dr Solomon’s Software) as the happiest of my career.”

When accompanying a friend of his to chapel while at Cambridge, the friend  pulled Solomon over to introduce him to the vicar, saying: “This is my friend Alan, he’s a, um, er, he’s, um, um… he’s of the Hebrew persuasion.”

Solomon said loudly: “No I’m not, I’m a Jew!”


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