June 7, 1954 – A Sad Legal Legacy Comes To An End – Death of Alan Turing

On this day in history, Alan Turing, aged 41, committed suicide. Turing, the British developer of the modern computer, and the World War II code breaker who helped crack the most impenetrable of Nazi codes, is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.

Alan Mathison Turing at the time of his election to a Fellowship of the Royal Society in1951.

Alan Mathison Turing at the time of his election to a Fellowship of the Royal Society in1951.

In 1952, Turing was arrested after having an affair with a 19-year-old Manchester man, and convicted of “gross indecency” for homosexuality in the UK. His sentence included chemical castration as well as estrogen treatments. In 1954, Turing took cyanide and died, sixteen days before his 42nd birthday.

On December 24, 2013, Turing received a posthumous royal pardon from Queen Elizabeth II. This was only the fourth royal pardon granted since World War II.

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One Response

  1. One of the blackest parts of British history. Oh, but Liz offered a pardon. So it’s all okay now. (Gah)

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