Human Interests

19-Year-Old Son of Former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki Found Dead at UC Berkeley: 'It's Heartbreaking'

Feb 19, 2024
Marco Troper, a college freshman, died in his dormitory on Feb. 13

Marco Troper, the son of former CEO of YouTube Susan Wojcicki, has died. He was 19.

Troper, a freshman at UC Berkeley’s campus, was found unresponsive on Tuesday afternoon at his dormitory, Clark Kerr Campus, a spokesperson for the school confirms to PEOPLE.

After he was located around 4:23 p.m. local time, Berkeley Fire Department alerted campus police that they were “attempting life-saving measures” on Troper, according to a statement obtained by PEOPLE from the University of California Police Department, Berkeley.

Shortly after, the fire department pronounced Troper dead.

A cause of death is not currently known, but there were no signs of foul play, according to campus police.

Trooper’s grandmother, Esther Wojcicki, believes the Berkeley student died of a drug overdose, she told SFGATE.

“He ingested a drug, and we don’t know what was in it. … One thing we do know, it was a drug,” she told the San Francisco outlet.

Esther also described her grandson to SFGATE as “loving” and a “math genius.”

“He was everything you could have wished for in a son and a grandson. He was destined to make a difference,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

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In a Thursday Facebook post, Esther said that she and the rest of Troper’s family are “devastated beyond comprehension.”

“Marco was the most kind, loving, smart, fun and beautiful human being,” she wrote. “He was just getting [started] on his second semester of his freshman year at UC Berkeley majoring in math and was truly loving it.”

The How to Raise Successful People author continued, “He had a strong community of friends from his dorm at Stern Hall and his fraternity Zeta Psi and was thriving academically. At home, he would tell us endless stories of his life and friends at Berkeley.”

“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. Marco, we all love you and miss you more than you will ever know,” Esther finished.

Speaking with SFGATE, Esther said that she and Troper's loved ones "want to prevent this from happening to any other family.”

“Tragedy is very hard to sustain,” she told the outlet. “It makes you want to hide in a closet and never come out, but I think the main thing is that we need to push forward to see what we can do to help other people so there won’t be any other kids who end up like Marco.”