Danny Lewin, the first victim on 9/11 and an architect of the Internet.: Based on dozens of interviews with those who spoke with two of the plane’s flight attendants during the hijacking, the commission determined that al-Suqami most likely killed Lewin by slashing his throat from behind as he attempted, single-handedly, to try to stop the hijacking. The time of his death was reported to be somewhere between 8:15 and 8:20 a.m.
“He was the first victim of the first war of the 21st century,” says Marco Greenberg, Lewin’s best friend.
But that act of heroism was not the only way Lewin made his presence felt on that terrible, unique, awful day. In a tragic twist of irony, the algorithms he helped develop, and the company he co-founded—Akamai Technologies—helped the Internet survive that day’s crush of traffic— the Web equivalent of a 100-year flood.