Alan Turing (1912-54) was an English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and computer scientist of dazzling ability. He was highly influential in the development of computer science and is widely considered to be the father of both computer science and artificial intelligence.
More than that, perhaps, during the Second World War he and his team broke the code of the highly complex Enigma and Lorenz cipher machines, which kept German military and strategic communications secret. This meticulous, painstaking work was done at Bletchley Park, Britain’s code-breaking centre. After the war he worked at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, where he created one of the first designs for a stored-program computer, the ACE.
Alan Turing was gay, and was prosecuted in 1952, when homosexual acts (even in private, as in his case) were illegal in the UK. This conviction resulted in his security clearance being removed, and despite his acknowledged brilliance he was barred from continuing with his cryptographic work for GCHQ. He committed suicide in 1954 at the age of 41. Fifty-five years later, in 2009, the British government formally apologised for the way in which he was treated after the war.
This is a detail from an outstanding life-size sculpture in half a million pieces of slate by Stephen Kettle. It's to be found in the Block B museum at Bletchley Park, near Milton Keynes. Oh, and that's a portrait of Alan Turing in the background. Two heroes for the price of one.
View on black - it looks good.