Grateful Dead Lyricist, Internet Pioneer John Perry Barlow Dead At 70

"The world lost a true hero today, a Renaissance man who was a relentless warrior for our freedom."

John Perry Barlow, the longtime Grateful Dead lyricist and internet pioneer who co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, died on Wednesday at the age of 70.

His cause of death has not been released, but NBC News reported that he had been in poor health since a 2015 heart attack.

John Perry Barlow, in 1991,
John Perry Barlow, in 1991,
Ann E. Yow-Dyson via Getty Images

Barlow penned numerous classic Dead tunes, including “Cassidy,” “I Need A Miracle,” “Estimated Prophet” and “The Music Never Stopped.”

To honor Barlow, Rhino Records created a Spotify playlist featuring some of his best-known tunes:

Many of Barlow’s songs were co-written with and performed by the Dead’s Bob Weir, both with the band and on his solo albums. Weir paid tribute to his longtime collaborator on Twitter:

Dead and Company, the successor to the Grateful Dead also honored the lyricist:

In addition to his songwriting career, Barlow was an early activist for online freedom and civil liberties. EFF executive Cindy Cohn said in a statement:

“It is no exaggeration to say that major parts of the Internet we all know and love today exist and thrive because of Barlow’s vision and leadership. 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.”

Here are more tributes to Barlow:

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