The Strange Story of the NYU Business Student and the Bin Laden T-Shirts

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Photo: osamadeadtees.com

On the night that Osama bin Laden's death was announced to the world, while other college students were pounding shots and embracing the opportunity to climb things in the street they would normally not be allowed to climb, 23-year-old NYU business school student Maurice Harary was putting his entrepreneurial instincts to work. With the help of a friend, he labored into the wee hours of the morning to create a website, osamadeadtees.com, that, as you probably already suspect, sells T-shirts celebrating the death of bin Laden. As of this morning, he had sold, according to Forbes, over 25,000 shirts at $12 a pop.

The free market, dead terrorists, cheap T-shirts — the only way this story could get any more quintessentially American would be to cover it in melted Cheddar and let Chesley Sullenberger land it in the Hudson River. But then things went horribly awry. According to CBS:


[T]oday, Maurice says he did some soul searching.

“I will now be refunding all orders on Osama dead tees,” he says. “Celebrating over the death of someone, whoever it is, is evil in my eyes.”

Um ... he's joking, right? This is a joke?


“I feel it’s not a positive way to be making money,” he says. “I don’t want my success to come at the expense of anyone else.

Oh. He's serious. He's going to give back the (we're guessing) hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit he made over the last four days because of some kind of sudden spiritual about-face. Very strange. One day, a young business student writes on his new T-shirt website, "Celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden. Buy an official Osama's Dead T shirt here. Now you can show your American pride by supporting our cause." The next day, he feels bad about making money off of the death of the world's worst person. We won't pretend to know whether he's telling the truth, whether there's some ulterior explanation, or what. It's just very strange, and, frankly, kind of un-American.

Maurice Harary Refunding Profits From Osama Bin Laden Death T-Shirts [CBS Local]