NEW YORK (CBSLA.com/AP) — Dan Fredinburg, a 33-year-old Google executive whose family is based in Carlsbad, was among the hundreds who died in a massive earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday.
Google confirmed his death. Lawrence You, the company’s director of privacy, posted online that Fredinburg was in Nepal with three other Google employees climbing Mount Everest. The other three, he added, are safe.
Fredinburg, a graduate of UC Irvine, dated “One Tree Hill” and “Chicago P.D.” star Sophia Bush.
She wrote a touching tribute to him on Instagram — Bush called him “one of a kind.”
“He was one of my favorite human beings on Earth. He was one of the great loves of my life. He was one of my truest friends,” she wrote.
She added, “A dancing robot who liked to ride dinosaurs and chase the sun and envision a better future for the world. His brain knew how to build it,” she wrote. “His heart was constantly evolving to push himself to make it so.”
Google also sent out a statement saying in part, “our thoughts are with the people of Nepal and with Dan’s family and friends during this terrible time.”
According to the technology blog Re/Code, Fredinburg was an experienced climber. He co-founded, in his spare time, Google Adventure. The project aims to “translate the Google Street View concept into extreme, exotic locations like the summit of Mount Everest or the Great Barrier Reef off Australia,” according to Startup Grind, a global startup community.
Fredinburg also helped start Save the Ice, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about global warming “through adventurous campaigns and events around the world,” according to its website.
Fredinburg started at Google in 2007. He served as product manager and the head of privacy at Google X, the company’s secretive arm best known for “moonshot” projects such as the self-driving car.
Google said it has launched a “person finder” tool for Nepal to help people find loved ones in the aftermath of the quake and “is working to get updated satellite imagery to aid in the recovery effort.” Google says it is committing $1 million to the quake response.
Fredinburg’s sister also responded to the news on Instagram: “This is Dan’s little sister Megan. I regret to inform all who loved him that during the avalanche on Everest early this morning our Dan suffered from a major head injury and didn’t make it. We appreciate all of the love that has been sent our way thus far and know his soul and his spirit will live on in so many of us. All our love and thanks to those who shared this life with our favorite hilarious strong willed man. He was and is everything to us. Thank you.”
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