Alan Turing was not a well-known figure during his lifetime. However, today he is famous for being an eccentric yet passionate British mathematician who conceived modern computing and played a crucial part in the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.
During World War II, Turing was a leading participant in wartime code-breaking, particularly that of German ciphers. He worked at Bletchley Park and developed an electromechanical device used to help decipher German Enigma encrypted signals. Turing moved to London in the mid-1940s, and began working for the National Physical Laboratory. Among his most notable contributions while working at the facility, Turing led the design work for the Automatic Computing Engine and ultimately created a groundbreaking blueprint for store-program computers. His work is credited by many in the tech industry as the world’s first personal computer—among other computer models.He was also a victim of mid-20th Century attitudes to homosexuality – he was chemically castrated before dying at the age of 41. In 2009 Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology for “the appalling way he was treated” and in 2013 Queen Elizabeth II granted him a posthumous pardon.