Police ID Man Found In Water: Dr James Martin

June 25, 2013

The police have formally identified the man found floating in the waters off Agar’s Island yesterday as Dr. James Martin, a successful entrepreneur who was considered one of the world’s foremost computer scientists.

Dr. Martin, 79, was born in the UK and had lived on Agar’s Island for decades. A philanthropist, his $150 million donation to the University of Oxford was the largest single gift to any British university.

At around 5:30pm yesterday [June 24] a kayaker came upon Dr. Martin’s lifeless body floating in the waters located off Agar’s Island,  which is near the entrance to Hamilton Harbour off Point Shares.

The police have said an “investigation into the circumstances surrounding Dr. Martin’s death is ongoing; however at this time there does not appear to be any suspicious circumstances.”

 Photo courtesy of Tom King

Photo courtesy of Tom King

Dr. Martin wrote over 100 books, and Computerworld ranked him fourth among the individuals who have most influenced the world of computer science.

His 1977 book, “The Wired Society: A Challenge for Tomorrow,” based on his predictions about technology that foresaw the internet as we know it today, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

He was an expert in the field of systems design, information engineering and computer-aided software engineering. He served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the U.S. Department of Defense – the only British citizen to do so at that time.

Dr. Martin bought Agar’s Island in 1977 and made his home in Bermuda. The island is said to contain houses, a beach, swimming pool, tennis & squash courts, docks, a huge art collection, a 300-year-old temple from Bali and the ruins of a 19th-century fort.

The multi-millionaire kept a relatively low profile in Bermuda, however did give various lectures around the island on technology.

A police spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Police Service can now confirm the death of 79 year old Dr. James Martin. Dr. Martin’s lifeless body was found floating in the waters of the Great Sound near Agar’s Island around 5:30pm Monday, June 24th by a kayaker.

“An investigation into the circumstances surrounding Dr. Martin’s death is ongoing; however at this time there does not appear to be any suspicious circumstances. A Family Liaison Officer has been assigned to Dr. Martin’s family to assist them at this tragic time.

“The Bermuda Police Service extends condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Martin on his passing. ”

Update 1.06pm: The Oxford Martin School in the UK said it was with “great sadness” they learned of the death of their founder. In a statement posted on their website, they called Dr Martin an “an inspiration to millions” and an “extraordinary intellect.”

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Comments (31)

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  1. mario says:

    NOT suspicious?

  2. Peter says:

    O dear what a shame.

  3. looking forwards says:

    Incredible loss not only to Bermuda but the entire world.

  4. DA Truth says:

    Very sad to hear this – I have read his books and he truly was a visionary… I would have loved to speak with him…

    One of his latest books, “The meaning of the 21st Century”, raised poignant questions about humanity’s ability to surve this century; framed in a world of conflict, economic turmoil, social breakdown, food shortages, ecological and environmental damage… it outlined a future where a technology singularity, innovation, as well as political and social reforms could get us through the “bottleneck in the valley” and out the other side as a better world – I just hope that none of his ideas led certain players to deem him as a threat to their profiteering of human suffering…

    RIP Dr James Martin

  5. Pastor Syl Hayward says:

    What a loss! A brilliant man. Didn’t know him personally. Wish I had

    • Sean McHale says:

      I did have the good fortune of meeting Dr. Martin in 1992…and the misfortune of having to impersonate him, in front of him, at a company function later that evening.

      Truly a man of brilliance, foresight and passion. Rest in peace, Jim.

      • Michael R. says:

        Never happened. Was only a dream. Oh wait, I have the video….

  6. Spike says:

    Did he donate money to help Bermudians?? if not why not?

    • Dick says:

      Do you give money? Don’t be such an a$$.. Rip Dr.

    • chris says:

      I seriously hope this is a poor attempt at humor… But in answer to your question, probably because of people like you? Show some respect.

      Rest in peace sir.

    • Tom says:

      Please do humanity a favor like Prof. Martin did, and DO NOT HAVE KIDS.

      If you had bothered to do even five seconds of research you would have found this on wikipedia:

      Did you even research that question before convincing yourself that he must not have? It is obvious you ask this in a rhetorical way from your tone.

      But if you click through and read, he gave lectures on technology in Bermuda. I highly doubt he didn’t do that as charity work. So in 5 seconds of actually thinking, I’ve already found evidence of his philanthropy.

      FYI, most rich people give to charity. If they didn’t they would not be able to live with the guilt.

      Next time try googling the guy and reading his wikipedia

      • Tom says:

        My other comment is missing the text and still has tons of stuff I had intended to delete…

        Here is the wikipedia quote:

        The James Martin 21st Century School[edit]

        In 2005 Martin donated $100 million to help establish The James Martin 21st Century School at the University of Oxford. This school aims to “formulate new concepts, policies and technologies that will make the future a better place to be”.[4] In 2009 Martin pledged up to an additional $50 million if it could be matched by other donors. This condition was met in April 2010.[5]

  7. Bayleaf says:

    If you take the time and go to The Oxford Martin School website you will see that he donated $150m for the benifit of the WHOLE WORLD !!!
    Believe me he was a truly Great Man and will be sorely missed by all those who had the privalige of knowing him.
    We are consoled by the fact that his legacy will benifit the future of mankind (which includes Bermuda )!!!

  8. Robert Daniels says:

    Anyone who has not heard of James Martin could check an interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9JUmFWn7t4

    and also his documentary narrated by Michael Douglas(The Meaning of the 21st Century)

  9. Bermudian says:

    I had the greatest opportunity to have a one on one talk with Dr James Martin. He inspired me to get into the computer industry and pushed me forward to learn as much as I can, but also informed me that I would constantly be learning as technology evolved. I’ll always remember how much of a pleasure it was to talk with him. Such a caring and intelligent individual. May you rest in peace.

  10. Ann Dumaresq says:

    I’ve been Jim’s editor on his newest book. I can’t believe, nor easily accept, this news. I can only hope that his passing near his beloved island was a peaceful one. He was one of the most peace-loving men I ever knew, and I will forever treasure having known him and worked with him. My heart goes out to his beloved wife, daughter and family.

  11. Better Bermuda says:

    My condolences to the family of Dr. Martin….how is that we have this type of intellect in Bermuda and it’s not capitalized on?

  12. nicky 23 says:

    My prayers go out to his family his in good hand now

  13. Spike says:

    yes i do donate money @Dick. Anyone with that name must be a dick

    • Huh? says:

      What did Dr. Martin ever do to you to warrant such crass comments on his death?

      I suppose he didn’t give you money. Is that your issue?

  14. Bermudiana says:

    Hi Spike.
    So you donate money?
    What to – your next bottle ?
    I guess total ingnorance is bliss ?
    No words anyone could post would answer your dopey posts anyway!
    Go back in the gutter where you belong if you cannot show some respect for this man who has just passed away !
    It takes one Dick to know one and you are 1st Class in that.

  15. Caleb Williams says:


  16. Moonbeam says:

    Sincere condolences to the Martins on the loss of a dear family member. His expertise, generosity, and vision have made a world a better place for us all. May he RIP.

  17. I am an admirer of James Martin work since he published his first books about computing, and I had the chance 30 years ago to attend one of his seminar on the subject.

    His latest works on a different topic were also of utmost importance.

    James Martin was one of those rare persons to whom I have never spoken and that I however consider a friend for all the benefits and pleasure he has brought in my life. This morning, I am sad.

    Sincere condolences to his family, his friends and his admirers.


  18. MESPE says:

    I had the great privilege of working for the company he founded. He was truly inspirational and his spirit was part of the fabric of that firm. Grace and peace to his loved ones and may he rest gently in the care of God.

  19. Mr Academic says:

    Academic life is one of the most pressureless environments one can get for research. It abstracts many of the problems that are evident in the rest of the world.