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Published on February 19, 2024
Berkeley Community Mourns Unexpected Loss of YouTube CEO's Son, Suspected Overdose Under InvestigationSource: Flickr user: John Loo, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Berkeley campus community is reeling after the sudden death of Marco Troper, the 19-year-old son of former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, at UC Berkeley's Clark Kerr Campus. The university confirmed that the freshman was found unresponsive last week and later declared dead by Berkeley fire department responders, a tragic loss that has left his family, "devastated beyond comprehension."

In a heartfelt Facebook post, Esther Wojcicki, Marco's grandmother, shared her profound grief, saying, "Marco was the most kind, loving, smart, fun and beautiful human being," she spoke of his new journey at Berkeley where he was majoring in math and had just embarked on his second semester to be thriving both socially and academically, but his bright future was abruptly ended causing a void in the lives of those who knew him, according to her Facebook post.

The circumstances of Troper's death, suspected to be a drug overdose by his grandmother, are under investigation. The Alameda County coroner’s office is in the process of determining the official cause. "He ingested a drug, and we don’t know what was in it,” Esther Wojcicki told SFGATE, expressing her determination to prevent such a tragedy from striking any other family. The toxicology report, which could reveal more details, is expected to take up to a month.

The loss of Troper, a young man with a strong pedigree in Silicon Valley, has sent ripples through the tech community. His lineage includes tech executive Susan Wojcicki, Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe fame, and Esther Wojcicki, recognized for her contributions to education and authoring "How to Raise Successful People”. He is also mourned by his four siblings and father, Dennis Troper. His life, which was deeply interwoven with promise and potential, will be remembered for the joy and intelligence he brought into the world. As his grandmother's moving obituary suggests, he was not only a student but a light in their lives, NBC Bay Area reported.