Alan Turing, a British mathematician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist, had one of the most celebrated minds of the 20th century. His “Turing machine” was a precursor to the modern computer, and he helped crack codes used by Nazi Germany in World War II, significantly helping the British war effort.
He was also gay, and, in 1952, he was convicted of “gross indecency” for having a homosexual relationship with a man. He had his security clearance removed, and he was chemically castrated. He killed himself two years later at the age of 41.
For 60 years, people in the U.K. have campaigned to have Turing pardoned. Today, it appears that has happened. The Independent reports that Turing has been officially pardoned by Queen Elizabeth under the little-known Royal Prerogative of Mercy.
You can see the document pardoning Turing below:
Turing’s pardon comes after a growing outcry that a man considered by many a hero for his wartime code-cracking could have had his life ruined by his sexuality. Thousands had signed an e-petition that called for his pardon, and many others signed a petition arguing that he should be put on the next £10 bill.
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