Adragon De Mello

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Adragon Eastwood De Mello (born October 5, 1976) 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).[1][2]


Adragon's father, Agustin Eastwood De Mello (1929–2003), had set the goal that his son would become a Nobel Prize laureate by age 16.[2] The elder De Mello was a karate master, flamenco guitarist,[3][4] and former weightlifting champion, and he vigorously mentored Adragon from an early age.

In 1981, Adragon was accepted into Mensa.[5]

After attending a series of schools for gifted children, Adragon attended Cabrillo College for two years starting in 1984.[citation needed]

In 1987, while at university, Adragon and his father were interviewed by Morley Safer on 60 Minutes II.[1] They also appeared on 48 Hours (TV series) and The Tonight Show.

While he did graduate from university in 1988, some of his math teachers later claimed that his grades were borderline.[5][6]

Adragon was accepted into a graduate program at the Florida Institute of Technology.[7]

In July 1988, his parents separated and, after a brief period in foster care, he returned to the custody of his mother, Cathy Gunn.[8] 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.[1] In 1994, he graduated from Homestead High School.

In 2000, he was training to be an estimator for a commercial painting company.[1]

On March 15, 2001, the elder De Mello, allegedly called 4-1-1 asking for the phone number of the police and mentioning that he was dying of cancer. This led to an 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.[2][9][10]

Agustin de Mello died on May 30, 2003.[11][12]

As of 2003, De Mello was working for The Home Depot.[11]

As of 2016, Adragon is married and has a young daughter.[citation needed]

Adragon has three half brothers fathered by Agustin - Brad Farha (b. 1962), Andre Jappen (b. 1963, d. 2015) and Pete Jappen (b. 1964).[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "What Price Genius?". 60 Minutes II. February 15, 2000. Retrieved December 11, 2006.
  2. ^ a b c Harris, Ron (April 27, 2001). "Former child prodigy takes on role as father's caretaker". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Archived from the original on January 12, 2002. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
  3. ^ "A sad, cautionary tale". Santa Cruz Sentinel. June 3, 2003. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Colin, Molly (October 13, 1988). "Is 11-Year-Old a Genius, or Just Bright? Either Way, He's a Troubled Child". The New York Times. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  6. ^ Freeman, Patricia (July 4, 1988). "11-Year-Old Adragon De Mello Has Everything a Boy Could Want—except Admission to a Ph.d Program". People. Vol. 30 no. 1. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  7. ^ Oliver, Myrna (June 5, 2003). "A.E. De Mello; Father Pushed Son to Get a College Degree at Age 11". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  8. ^ Nichols, Stephanie (October 5, 1988). "Whiz kid Adragon De Mello and his father, who..." UPI. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  9. ^ Prodis Sulek, Julia (August 12, 2001). "'Boy genius,' father finally finding peace". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  10. ^ "Ex- child prodigy takes on a different role as son". Associated Press. April 27, 2001. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Moormeister, Robyn (June 2, 2003). "Agustin De Mello succumbs to cancer". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Archived from the original on June 5, 2003. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
  12. ^ Walsh, Diana (June 3, 2003). "Agustin De Mello -- hopeful father of a wunderkind". SFgate. Retrieved September 27, 2016.

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