Theodore John "Ted" Kaczynski ( /kəˈzɪnski/ ka-zin-skee, or ka-chin-skee; Polish: Kaczyński, pronounced [kaˈt͡ʂɨȷ̃skʲi]; born May 22, 1942), also known as the "Unabomber", is an American mathematician, social critic, and Neo-Luddite who engaged in a mail bombing campaign that spanned nearly 20 years, killing three people and injuring 23 others.
Kaczynski was born in Chicago, Illinois, where, as an intellectual child prodigy, he excelled academically from an early age. Kaczynski was accepted intoHarvard University at the age of 16, where he earned an undergraduate degree, and later earned a PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan. He became an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley at age 25, but resigned two years later.
In 1971, he moved to a remote cabin without electricity or running water, in Lincoln, Montana, where he lived as a recluse while learning survival skills in an attempt to become self-sufficient. He decided to start a bombing campaign after watching the wilderness around his home being destroyed by development. From 1978 to 1995, Kaczynski sent 16 bombs to targets including universities and airlines, killing three people and injuring 23. Kaczynski sent a letter to The New York Times on April 24, 1995 and promised "to desist from terrorism" if the Times or the Washington Post published his manifesto,Industrial Society and Its Future (also called the "Unabomber Manifesto"), in which he argued that his bombings were extreme but necessary to attract attention to the erosion of human freedom necessitated by modern technologies requiring large-scale organization.
The Unabomber was the target of one of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's costliest investigations. Before Kaczynski's identity was known, the FBI used the title "UNABOM" (UNiversity & Airline BOMber) to refer to his case, which resulted in the media calling him the Unabomber. The FBI pushed for the publication of Kaczynski's "Manifesto" which led to his brother and his wife recognizing Kaczynski's style of writing and beliefs from the manifesto, and tipping off the FBI. Kaczynski dismissed his court appointed lawyers because they wanted to plead insanity in order to avoid the death penalty, as Kaczynski did not believe he was insane.[not in citation given] When it became clear that his pending trial would entail national television exposure for Kaczynski, the court entered a plea agreement, under which he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. Theodore Kaczynski has been designated a "domestic terrorist" by the FBI. Some anarcho-primitivist authors, such as John Zerzan and John Moore, have come to his defense, while holding some reservations about his actions and ideas.