Alan Turing was a brilliant mathematician, logician and cryptographer. A Cambridge graduate who was fundamental to cracking the Nazi's Enigma Code during WWII, Turing created what is hailed by some as the first modern computer and was a legendary innovator in his field.
He was also gay. And he fell victim to the intolerance and legal prosecution of his time felt by all LGBT individuals under the Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885 in Great Britain. Under this act, homosexuality was considered an extreme mental illness and subject to criminal sanctions. To avoid jail, he went through behavioral modification hormonal therapy and chemical castration, suffering their side effects—and their consequences.
Turing was ruined professionally. Exiled from his past and his colleagues, he turned his professional focus to mathematical biology, studying the occurrence of the Fibonacci Sequence in nature. Turing's death from an apparent suicide was a tragic loss to Great Britain and the world. Who knows where his mind would have taken the science of Mathematics or the world of modern computing?
Posthumously, Turing is lauded. Universities around the world have programs and buildings in his name. He has earned an English Heritage Blue Plate on his childhood home. And, since 1966, the Turing Award has been given each year by the Association for Computing Machinery, widely considered to be the computing world's equivalent to the Nobel Prize.