Last edited: June 10, 2004

Gay Computer Creator Honoured UK, June 8, 2004

By Ben Townley, UK

The man who is largely seen as the creator of the modern day computer was remembered yesterday.

Alan Turing, who helped develop one of the first series of computers as well as working on code cracking in the Second World War, was honoured with an unveiling of a blue plaque outside his home in Wilmslow in Cheshire.

The plaque is in recognition of his scientific and mathematical work, which led to the creation of personal computers, as well as his work in WWII on deciphering code from Germany in a bid to protect the allies from attack.

However, Turing’s life was tainted by tragedy. Despite his prominence and success, he was arrested in 1952 for being gay and, rather than going to jail, agreed to be injected with hormones in a bid to change his sexuality.

He killed himself two years later by eating an apple he had injected with cyanide, although this ruling was contested by his mother at the time, who claimed his death was the result of an experiment gone wrong.

This is not the first recognition Turing has received. He was named in the top 20 most important people of the 20th Century by Time Magazine, as well as one of the most important gay people of all time by the Pink Paper in 1997.

Additionally, a statue of him eating an apple stands in the heart of Manchester’s Sackville Park, as he attended the city’s university.

[Home] [World] [United Kingdom]