Aleksey Vayner, the very determined Yale student with the infamous video resume, died this weekend, according to a relative in Florida who confirmed Vayner's death. "It looks like he took some drugs or medicine, had a heart attack, a friend of his drove him to the hospital, and they couldn't resuscitate him," said Boris Vayner, who identified himself as Aleksey's step-cousin, over the phone this afternoon. "Not exactly sure though, I'm too far away."
Once upon a time in an earlier online era, an aggressively ambitious Yale senior named Alexsey Vayner submitted a rather audacious video resume entitled "Impossible Is Nothing" for an investment-banking job. It was an extraordinarily bold gesture of self-marketing, showcasing the young man lifting 495-pound weights, smacking tennis balls faster than 140-miles an hour, karate-chopping six bricks with a fist, and ballroom-dancing with the fiery intensity of 1000 Ivy League suns. Unfortunately, the clip made its way to the Sun and the rest is, well, here.
The Times called it, "The Resume Mocked ‘Round the World." Ivygate publicly made sport of battling with Aleksey. Vayner's name became so synonymous with "douchebag" that he reportedly began using the name Alex Stone.
Today a spokeswoman for the New York City Medical Examiner confirmed to IvyGate that a 29-year-old man matching Vayner's description, under the name of Alex Stone, died on the morning of January 19 in Queens, New York. The spokeswoman indicated that the cause of death has yet to be determined.
Ivygate also cites "an email sent by a friend of Vayner's to a small group of people at Yale [that] confirmed his death" and a Tweet from someone claiming to be Vayner's niece. That Twitter account has since been deleted.
There are other reasons to be skeptical. Vayner's Internet persona was built on self-reinvention, which makes the narrative extremely susceptible to a hoax. It's also not unthinkable that Vayner's rumored death would finally allow Alex Stone to live.
Update: Apparently that wasn't the case. The New York City Medical Examiner public affairs office confirms that a 29-year-old man named Alexander Stone died in Jamaica Hospital, Queens this past Saturday morning around 9am and that the cause of death is pending investigation. Reached by telephone this afternoon, Boris Vayner also confirmed his step-cousin Aleksey's recent death.
We've reached out to Aleksey's other relatives and will update as details emerge.