UC Berkeley junior Apoorve Agarwal dies at 20


Apoorve Agarwal, a UC Berkeley junior known for his sense of humor and calm demeanor, died earlier this month. He was 20.

Agarwal was found dead outside of his Berkeley residence on Dec. 20. He was expected to graduate in 2016 with a degree in applied mathematics and economics.

Kishan Patel, a UC Berkeley junior and Agarwal’s roommate, said Agarwal was his first friend in college and had been his best friend ever since the two lived together as freshmen. He said his favorite memory of Agarwal is when they attended a San Francisco 49ers game together before their freshman year had started, even though Agarwal was a Raiders fan.

“He loved Cal. He had a lot of school spirit, and he cherished the school for how amazing it was or for the people he met here,” Patel said.

According to Patel, Agarwal was never nervous before an exam because he was very confident and realized that “stressing out only made things worse.” He said he and Agarwal liked to competitively play video games and, despite any yelling during the game, Agarwal always knew it was in good fun.

Ananth Cherukupally, a UC Berkeley sophomore and childhood friend of Agarwal, said he and Agarwal had similar senses of humor. According to Cherukupally, Agarwal was sarcastic and extremely witty.

“My favorite memory is when we both were playing baseball — I was in the fourth grade, and he was in the fifth grade, and we were down by a run,” Cherukupally said. “He wasn’t worried, and then he hit a homerun and we won the game. That was the type of guy he was; he was never worried about things and he just enjoyed life.”

Cherukupally and Agarwal were friends for more than ten years. Cherukupally said the friendship made him a happier person because Agarwal, who was a year older, gave him advice, mentored him and made people laugh.

Katy Yuan, a UC Berkeley junior and former Daily Californian staff member, was part of Agarwal’s intern class in Law in Practice, a club on campus for students interested in law. She said Agarwal will be missed for his ideas, compassion and friendliness.

“He was vital in defining our new officer positions and responsibilities — his ideas and suggestions were all adopted,” Yuan said in an email. “He didn’t speak a lot, but when he did, people listened.”

Agarwal was particularly interested in law and Wall Street; he enjoyed dressing in suits and The Wolf of Wall Street was one of his favorite movies.

Patel said Agarwal was a great friend to everybody who knew him because of his generosity and easy-going nature.

“He was a brilliant guy with an amazing intellect and helped all of his friends study for math exams without a second thought,” Patel said. “He will be missed by all of our friends and we hope to achieve the goals that he supported us through.”

Contact Robert Tooke at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @robertono_t.