Remembering Daniel Lewin: The First Known 9/11 Victim and His Remarkable Life

Today, we look back on September 11th, 2001, in remembrance of Daniel Lewin, the first known 9/11 victim. Click here for a visual tribute.

#OnThisDay in 2001, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks by Islamist terror group al-Qaeda shook the United States to its core.

We honor the 2,977 innocent lives lost, pay tribute to the valiant firefighters and police officers who gave their lives in the line of duty, and pledge to never forget this dark day in American history.

Who Was Daniel Lewin?

On that fateful day, Daniel Lewin—an American-Israeli mathematician, entrepreneur, and former captain in Israel’s elite unit Sayeret Matkal—was the first known victim.

A Life Well Lived

Known for his extraordinary intelligence and talent, Danny Lewin excelled in multiple fields. Whether as a soldier, a student, or a businessman, he left an indelible mark.

His Contributions to the Internet

In 2013, a book titled “No Better Time: The Brief, Remarkable Life of Danny Lewin, the Genius Who Transformed the Internet” highlighted his pioneering work in creating internet algorithms that we use daily.

The Tragic End

The 31-year-old from Brookline, Massachusetts was on American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane to be hijacked. Sitting close to the hijackers and understanding Arabic, he courageously tried to intervene. Witnesses recount that he was fatally stabbed by Satam al Suqami, one of the terrorists.

Daniel’s throat was slashed, and he was reported as the first casualty by a flight attendant communicating with American Airlines on the ground. This helped identify the terrorists based on their seating.

About 20 minutes later, the plane crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, taking all lives on board.


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