Son of former YouTube CEO found dead in UC Berkeley dorm

Susan Wojcicki speaks while shown in side view against a black background.
Then YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on May 24, 2022.
(Markus Schreiber/AP)

A UC Berkeley student found dead on campus last week was the son of former YouTube Chief Executive Susan Wojcicki, a family member confirmed in a Facebook post.

Marco Troper was found unresponsive at Berkeley’s Clark Kerr Campus on Tuesday afternoon, relatives and authorities say. Responding paramedics attempted life-saving measures but were unable to revive the 19-year-old freshman. Authorities have said there was no sign of foul play.

The Clark Kerr residential hall complex and event space, which primarily houses freshman and undergraduate students, is about six blocks from the main campus.


Troper’s grandmother, Esther Wojcicki, confirmed his identity in a post on her Facebook account on Wednesday, writing that his death had left the family “devastated beyond comprehension.”

“Tragedy hit my family yesterday,” she wrote. “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.”

Troper, a math major who was starting the second semester of his freshman year, was a “most kind, loving, smart and beautiful human being,” she wrote in the post, which featured several photos of a smiling Troper at different ages.

“He had a strong community of friends from his dorm at Stern Hall and his fraternity Zeta Psi and was thriving academically,” she wrote.

Esther Wojcicki told the Palo Alto Daily Post and SFGate that Troper’s death may have been a result of a drug overdose; the family was hoping a toxicology report could provide some answers, she told the outlets. Such reports can take weeks to be released.

“We have provided counseling support and communicated with the student’s fellow residents that he lived with, and with students who were members of organizations he was a member of, to provide support resources,” the university said in a statement, according to local TV news reports.

One of the tech industry’s most prominent female executives, Susan Wojcicki stepped down from her role with the online video giant last February, writing in a farewell letter that she was doing so in order to focus on “my family, health, and personal projects I’m passionate about.”


Her departure came as Google, YouTube’s parent company, as well as the tech world at large navigated a harsh new economic reality that had led to a wave of layoffs and cost-cutting measures.

As CEO, Wojcicki oversaw YouTube’s dramatic transition from an amateur video uploading site to a massive media and advertising powerhouse. Today, YouTube says it has more than 2 billion monthly users, with 1 billion hours of video watched every day by people around the world.