This article was first published on September 11, 2021.
Today, WorkingNation joins the rest of the country in remembering the 2,977 lives lost on September 11, 2001, and honoring the thousands of first responders who became chronically ill as a result of the terrorist attacks.
Among those who died on that day 20 years ago was Akamai Technologies co-founder Danny Lewin, a friend and colleague to WorkingNation founder and CEO Art Bilger who describes Lewin as “the most remarkable” person he has ever met.
Lewin died at age 31 aboard American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles, the first plane to be intentionally-crashed into the World Trade Center by terrorists. The 9/11 Commission confirmed Lewin was stabbed to death as he confronted the terrorists in an attempt to thwart the hijacking, becoming the first victim of the attackers that day.
Lewin was a visionary computer scientist who changed the course of the internet during his brief lifetime. Without his pioneering work in the late 1990s, and the company he created with Akamai CEO Tom Leighton, the internet as we know it today may have evolved along a different course. Akamai since then has grown into a multibillion-dollar company dedicated to making the internet “fast, reliable and secure” and is responsible for handling almost one-third of global internet traffic.
“He was the rare person of incredible intellect and action. A truly one-of-a-kind person. It is safe to say that meeting Danny completely altered the trajectory of my life,” Bilger recalls. “Without him, I don’t think WorkingNation would exist.”
This video remembering and honoring Danny Lewin was first released at WorkingNation’s “Cracking the Code: A Town Hall Event on Bridging the Cybersecurity Skills Gap” in June of 2018.