Hank Asher, visionary, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, died peacefully yesterday in his home at the age of 61. Known as the “father of data fusion,” Hank invented online investigative systems that protect people, search for abducted children, and prevent costly fraud. The world is immeasurably safer because of Hank.
Hank founded three innovative and highly successful companies: Database Technologies, Seisint, and TLO. In addition to revolutionizing how the private sector locates and researches individuals and businesses, his creations are widely used by U.S. law enforcement, intelligence agencies, Interpol, Scotland Yard, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Hank was instrumental in helping law enforcement to identify additional terrorists after the 9/11 attacks.
More than anything else, Hank Asher believed in helping others. He often referred to his philanthropic endeavors as a “paycheck for the soul.” Hank’s close friends, Jules Kroll, founder of the world’s preeminent detective agency, Kroll, Inc., and Tom Glocer, former CEO of Thomson Reuters, fondly agree, “Hank was incredibly talented. What was less well known, other than to his friends, was what a warmhearted, generous, and loyal person he was."
Hank’s private plane was the first on the ground after the Haiti earthquake in 2010, transporting desperately needed doctors to Haiti from Project Medishare and bringing the wounded back to South Florida. Years prior to his sister Sari’s death from cancer, Hank also created JARI Research to support cancer breakthroughs in cooperation with the Mayo Clinic.
Protecting children was particularly dear to Hank. He was the largest financial donor in the history of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and also donated his technology to assist in reuniting missing children with their families. In addition, Hank provided TLO’s child protection software at no charge to law enforcement in 40 countries around the world to identify and locate child predators.
John Walsh, host of the popular television series, America’s Most Wanted, credits Asher as having “single-handedly changed the way law enforcement globally hunts for child predators on the Internet.” Walsh adds, “Hank was the most charitable man I ever met. He was larger than life, but the biggest part of Hank was his heart.”
Hank continued to invent new technologies until the very end. His vision will continue to influence the data fusion industry for years to come as Hank’s loyal and talented TLO “tribe” complete and launch the many projects he had in progress at the time of his passing.
Hank was dearly loved by his wife, Judith, their two children, Desiree Asher and Carly Yoost, and his son-in-law, Wally Yoost. The hearts of his TLO colleagues go out to his family and to all who were touched by Hank’s extraordinary gifts.