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Square Inc. co-founder Tristan O'Tierney dies at 35

Square Inc. co-founder Tristan O'Tierney dies at 35
Tristan O'Tierney developed Square Inc.'s original mobile payment system. O'Tierney, who left the company in 2013, died on Feb. 23, his mother said Saturday. (Robert Andersen / Square Inc)

Square Inc. co-founder Tristan O’Tierney died on Feb. 23, his mother, Pamela Tierney, said on Saturday. He was 35.

“I don’t have an official diagnosis,” she said by phone, adding that it was probably related to his addiction. A doctor called her to say Tristan had kidney failure and was under cardiac arrest, she said.

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A former engineer at Yahoo and Apple Inc., O’Tierney was hired to develop Square’s original mobile payment app in 2009 and stayed until 2013, when he left the San Francisco company co-founded by Twitter Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey.

Based in Los Angeles, O’Tierney previously served as the director of mobile at Voteraide, a civic engagement network known as “the LinkedIn for politics,” and a freelance photographer, according to his LinkedIn page.

His website showcased his photos of cities, people and landscape, and he called his camera “my singular creative outlet."

O’Tierney opened up about his struggles in a 2017 tweet. Last year, he compared some of his failure in dealing with addiction, which he didn’t specify, to the success he had at Square. The tweet was linked to an Instagram post that has since been deleted.

Square didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for a statement on Saturday.

In addition his parents, O’Tierney is survived by his three-old-year daughter, according to an obituary on the website for the funeral home. A memorial will be held on Sunday at the Brookside Funeral Home in Houston.

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