Aleksey Vayner, the Yale graduate who garnered the Internet’s mistrust for a video résumé he made called “Impossible is Nothing,” died on Saturday at the age of 29. According to IvyGate, the website that first reported on his fabrications in 2006, a spokesman for the New York Medical Examiner’s office said the cause of death was pending investigation. A Facebook posting by a family member indicated that he passed away on January 19 at a hospital in New York.
Aleksey, a driven athlete, coach, and entrepreneur, had become synonymous with the perils of unintended Internet fame. Born Aleksey Garber, he had emigrated from Uzbekistan and settled in New York City at a young age with his mother, attended The Dwight School and then Yale, where he was known for his weight-lifting and martial arts, and for telling outlandish, heroic stories. Even as a pre-freshman, he was mocked in a 2002 issue of the Rumpus, the campus humor magazine, for tales of studying in Tibet under the Dalai Lama and participating in a “Blood Sport”-type tournament in Thailand. He said he never made those claims, but a reptuation had been established.