Adragon De Mello

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Adragon De Mello (born October 5, 1976)[1] graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in computational mathematics in 1988, at age 11. At the time, he was the youngest college graduate in U.S. history (a record since broken by Michael Kearney).[2][3]


His father, Agustin Eastwood De Mello (1929–2003), had set the goal that his son would become a Nobel Prize laureate by age 16.[3] The elder De Mello was a karate master, flamenco guitarist,[4][5][6] and former weightlifting champion, and he vigorously mentored Adragon from an early age.

By 1988, his parents had separated and, after a brief period in foster care, he returned to the custody of his mother, Cathy Gunn. Although a college graduate, he opted to enroll in Sunnyvale Junior High School (now Sunnyvale Middle School) under the assumed name of James Gunn. He found it "nice because no one knew who [he] was" and was "upset" when local papers identified him after his graduation.[2] In 1994, he graduated from Homestead High School.

In 2000, he was training to be an estimator for a commercial painting company.[2]

On March 15, 2001, the elder De Mello, who had allegedly called 9-1-1 claiming to be suicidal, was involved in armed standoff with Santa Cruz police. He was subsequently charged with assault with a deadly weapon. De Mello, suffering from bladder cancer, was released to the custody of his son.[3] Agustin de Mello died on May 30, 2003.[7]

As of 2003, De Mello was working for The Home Depot.[7]

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  1. ^ "Bureau of Inspectors report, page 7 of 18" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  2. ^ a b c "What Price Genius?". 60 Minutes II. 2000-02-15. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  3. ^ a b c Harris, Ron (2001-04-27). "Former child prodigy takes on role as father’s caretaker". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2002-01-12. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  4. ^ "A sad, cautionary tale". Santa Cruz Sentinel. June 3, 2003. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b Moormeister, Robyn (2003-06-02). "Agustin De Mello succumbs to cancer". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2003-06-05. Retrieved 2011-09-04. 

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