The day after the anniversary of D-Day also marks a less remembered event, it marks the anniversary of brilliant mathematician Alan Turing’s death in 1954. The unsung hero of the Allied Forces ability to crack Nazi Enigma machine codes and whose work helped enable D-Day invasion, died a decade after the war, of an apparent cyanide suicide at age 41 . At the time of his passing, Turing, already “chemically castrated” by the UK authorities, was facing yer another trial over his unacceptable propensity for homosexuality after a man was found in his home. The NY Times marks the anniversary with a recap of the troubled father of modern computing’s life and accomplishments as part of a series of obituaries on overlooked people whose deaths weren’t contemporaneously noted.
Turing’s story is now recounted in films, and he even received a posthumous pardon from the Queen not long ago, but it all comes too late in a world that seemingly did not appreciate what he had to offer during his lifetime. Turing came up with the fundamental conceptual workings behind Artificial Intelligence, had influence on modern encryption and cryptography, of course changed history by helping crack German military codes with his Turing machine, and is generally thought of to have been the father of the digital computer age.
Listen To Part One Of A BBC Programme Of Turing’s Early Years
Here is a movie about Turing’s war time computational heroics that is free to stream for Amazon Prime Members…and available to rent otherwise