Brighton author dies aged 47

Posted On 20 Oct 2015 at 6:07 pm

A Brighton author and e-democracy campaigner has died at the age of 47.

Dan Jellinek, editor of UKauthority.com and author of People Power, died from a brain haemorrhage at the weekend.

The married father of two lived in Shaftesbury Road, Brighton, and helped set up SCIP (the Sussex Community Internet Project).

Dan Jellinek

Dan Jellinek

He wrote a popular politics book called People Power: A user’s guide to democracy in the UK.

A tribute on the UKauthority website today (Tuesday 20 October) said: “(The) author of People Power and friend to all believers in technology for social good has died suddenly.

“The UKauthority community is one of many to be reeling this morning at the news of the sudden death of writer and social activist Dan Jellinek.

“His family has informed us that he died at the weekend from a cerebral haemorrhage at a shockingly young age.

“Dan was a pioneer writer on the topic of e-government, writing for many newspapers and online services including UKauthority.com.

“However, he was always more than a journalist. He was passionate about the potential of technology for social good, particularly for disabled people, and about the need to end the digital divide.

“His 2013 book People Power (Bantam Press) is a clarion call to engage intelligently in the democratic process.

People Power A User's Guide to Democracy by Dan Jellinek“He wrote: ‘The best way to understand the huge, messy problems our politicians face is to walk up to the edge of them – and take the plunge.

“‘Not everyone will want to be active in politics but that does not mean you cannot be a more active citizen.

“You will never be able to make things perfect because things can never be perfect. But one of the most precious things that democracy brings is the freedom to think, talk, persuade and act in a way that might make things better.

“‘The rest is up to you.’

“Now it really is up to us. Our deepest sympathies to Gillian, Frida and Ezra.”

Mr Jellinek read English literature at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

He described himself as a journalist and publisher with two decades’ experience writing about technology and social issues. These included e-government, e-democracy and access to technology by people with disabilities.

He covered Westminster and Brussels for Local Government Chronicle (LGC), the leading news publication for local councils.

He then went freelance, writing about the internet and other emerging technologies, and their effect on society, for The Guardian. He also worked for BBC Online and contributed to The Times, the Sunday Telegraph and Total Politics magazine.

Mr Jellinek had been a UK board member of E-Democracy.org, an international non-profit, citizen-based project founded in the American state of Minnesota.

And he was one of the founders of the think-tank Vox Politics in 2001.

Among many tributes paid to Mr Jellinek, one described him as “a bright, funny and kind man” who touched many people’s lives.

Another mourned “a major loss”, saying: “Dan was an extremely generous person, with a true commitment to democracy.”

  1. Chris Clarke Reply

    Dan was one of the most talented, bright, generous and kind people that I have had the pleasure of working with. News of his death is such a shock, and is a terrible loss at such a young age. Thoughts to all his family and friends.

  2. roy pennington Reply

    sad loss = RIP

  3. Philip Connolly Reply

    I worked with Dan and knew him for the last two years of his life. Dan was a compassionate idealist with a passion for improving the lot of disabled people. I shall miss him amd ask anyone with details of his memorial service to let me know the details so I can pay my respects.

  4. John Lamb Reply

    A meeting with Dan was always something to look forward to. He was bright, interested in people and always full of ideas. He had many interests – politics, disability, cricket and food, to name but a few, so conversation with him was a delight Despite his many talents he was not egotistical. He often put himself and his journalistic skills at other people’s service especially those involved with disability. Dan was also a family man. He will be very much missed.

  5. Nasser Siabi Reply

    Dan was a very intelligent man and had a tremendous passion for IT inclusion for everyone. He was incredibly polite and thoughtful and always respected opinion of others. This is a massive loss to the world and we will miss him. RIP Dan

  6. T Bunstead Reply

    I shared a workspace with Dan and am profoundly sad to learn of his death. He was passionate about issues of democratic engagement, and cricket of course, and a brilliant writer. I loved Dan’s wry humour, and his gentleness, and really can’t say what a shock this is. My thoughts go to his family.

  7. Julie Payne Reply

    Cant believe Dan has passed – it seemed only yesterday when we worked together at Enterprise Evants & Headstar
    My deepest condolences to all his family

  8. Julie Howell Reply

    He was my friend and I’m devastated. Much love to all who knew Dan and his nearest and dearest. Sleep tight, buddy. X

  9. Christopher Barton Reply

    Very sad to read about this in our old school magazine. I remember Dan as being the most academically gifted in our school year – and in a school where 40% of the 6th form went on to Oxford or Cambridge!

    I have not seen him since, but it is terrible to hear that he has passed at such a young age, particularly considering the value of his work.

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