Alan Turing, one of the founding fathers of modern computing, would have been 99 years old today.
The noted polymath and cryptanalyst was born in London in 1912 and excelled at mathematics and science from an early age according thinq_
Perhaps most famous for his work at the top secret war-time code-breaking facility at Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes, Turing would spend much of his life in isolation hounded because of his homosexuality.
His work in decoding the German Enigma Machines is frequently credited with shortening the Second World War by several years and saving tens of thousands of lives.
Yet he was forced to undergo chemical castration to curb his sexual urges under threat of imprisonment, the indignity of which is thought to have contributed heavily to his eventual suicide.
Turning received a posthumous apology for his awful treatment from UK PM Gordon Brown in 2009.
As Gareth Halfacree quite rightly says in the thinq_ article, "Turing's story is a tragedy, and one which leaves the world a darker place: given the inestimable impact his work had on the modern world, it's difficult to imagine where we might be had he been allowed to continue."