Former YouTube CEO’s son Marco Troper died of suspected drug overdose

New details have emerged about the sudden death of former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s son, after the 19-year-old was found unresponsive inside his university dorm room last week.

Marco Troper, a first-year student at the University of California, Berkeley, was unable to be revived by emergency responders last Tuesday afternoon.

Tributes have flown in the days since for the “math genius”, whose grandmother, Esther Wojcicki, said she believed had died of an accidental drug overdose.

“Kids in college, especially freshmen and sophomores, experiment with everything,” Ms Wojcicki told the Palo Alto Daily Post.

“I think this was an experiment that went wrong.”

Details of Troper’s death remain unclear, though police found no signs of foul play at the scene. A toxicology report to confirm his cause of death will take up to 30 days, SFGATE reports.

“He ingested a drug, and we don’t know what was in it,” Ms Wojcicki told the outlet.

“One thing we do know, it was a drug. We want to prevent this from happening to any other family.”

Ms Wojcicki told the Palo Alto Daily Post the teen “was everything you could have wished for in a son and a grandson”. “He was destined to make a difference, it’s heartbreaking.”

In a devastating social media post confirming Troper’s death, Ms Wojcicki said that a “tragedy” had hit her family.

“Our family is devastated beyond comprehension. Marco’s life was cut too short. And we are all devastated, thinking about all the opportunities and life experiences that he will miss, and we will miss together,” she wrote.

Among those to remember Troper on social media were his teachers, including University of California Professor Freedom Cheteni, who claimed the student dreamt of one day curing cancer.

“With profound sadness, my most extraordinary moonshot kid, Marco Troper whose light, leadership and love will never diminish unexpectedly died,” Professor Cheteni wrote on Facebook.

“Marco and I were working on his most inspiring idea to cure cancer leveraging nanotechnologies and AI the last six years.”

The dean of his high school, Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, Than Healy, also remembered Troper as “incredibly intelligent, curious, and creative” in a statement to SFGATE.

“He was … often showing up to class and community events with a bright smile and an infectious energy,” Mr Healy said.

“An avid mathematician and computer scientist, he relished tackling challenging problems.”

Susan Wojcicki married her husband David Troper in 1998 and they share five children.

She was appointed CEO of the famed video platform in 2014 and named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people the following year.

Ms Wojcicki resigned from her position — after 25 years with the company — in February 2023 to “start a new chapter focused on my family, health, and personal projects”.

– with the New York Post

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