David Graeber, Anthropologist Who Coined 'We are the 99%' Slogan, Dies at 59

© AP Photo / MICHELLE MCLOUGHLINDavid Graeber, associate professor of anthropology at Yale University is shown during class Oct. 12. 2005 in New Haven, Conn.
David Graeber, associate professor of anthropology at Yale University is shown during class Oct. 12. 2005 in New Haven, Conn.  - Sputnik International
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Graeber, who became a staple of the Occupy Wall Street movement, was an anthropologist and London School of Economics professor whose works have become significant among the political left.

The anthropologist and anarchist author David Graeber, who is said to have coined the famous 'We are the 99%', has died at the age of 59.

Graeber’s wife, the artist and writer Nika Dubrovsky posted a tweet on Thursday announcing that Graeber had died in a Venice hospital on 2 September. Graeber’s publisher Penguin Random House said in a statement that the cause of death is currently unknown.

Known for such works such as 'Debt: The First 5000 Years' in 2011, as well as 2015’s 'Utopia Rules', Bullshit Jobs: A Theory in 2018.

His works focused on politics, capitalism, and revolutionary politics. Graeber was a key figure in the Occupy Wall Street movement and worked as a professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics (LSE) until his death.

The announcement saw an outpour of support from fans in remembrance of Graeber and his impact on their own lives.

Graeber announced in a YouTube video on 28 August, that he was feeling “a little under the weather” but was now getting better. He tweeted on the same day that he had “not been in tip-top shape".

On August 31, Dubrovsky posted a photo of Venice on Twitter captioned, “Venice. Dark, wet and chilly". Graeber was interviewed in August 2020 as part of a special edition of The Big Issue. 

​Graeber got involved in activism and politics in the 1990s and became a leader in the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011. He is also an adamant supporter of the Kurdish Freedom Movement, and what he described as the “remarkable democratic experiment” in Rojava, a de facto autonomous region in Syria.

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