Alan Turing named most iconic figure of 20th century in UK

milkboys History & People 8 Comments

The BBC named Alan Turing the most ‘iconic’ figure of the 20th Century on Tuesday. Turing was instrumental in cracking Nazi codes during World War II. But he was later chemically castrated for being gay and committed suicide. He’s commonly known as the founding father of computer science.

Broadcaster Chris Packham gave an inspiring and heartwarming speech commemorating his life:

To win the accolade, Turing beat figures such as Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Ernest Shackleton, Pablo Picasso, David Bowie and Muhammad Ali.

In 2013, Queen Elizabeth II pardoned Turing for his 1952 conviction for having sex with another man. Some 49,000 gay men were convicted for homosexuality. They include poet, wit and playwright Oscar Wilde.

Comments 8

  1. Woooooo :)
    Chris Pakham !!
    I had such a crush on him when he first appeared on TV in his late teens, early twenties. Phew!
    He’s got aspergers and he’s such a great guy.
    U.K. is consistently fortunate having a fairly steady stream of exceptional people and valuable popular heroes.

  2. It’s about time Alan Turing gets the recognition he has deserved since the end of World War II.

    “Turing beat figures such as Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Ernest Shackleton, Pablo Picasso, David Bowie and Muhammad Ali.”

    The ONLY one in that list which even approaches what Turing did for the world is Nelson Mandela — and Muhammad Ali has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to get any “accolades” except allow others to beat his brains in.

    1. MA called out the American Government on the Vietnam war and racism.
      Not quite ‘Absolutely Nothing’

      1. Big fucking deal. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS have done the very same thing —- INCLUDING MYSELF.

        So, he’s done NOTHING to get any accolades for.

        1. But who heard your voice?
          Certainly, MA and his refusal then resulting loss of boxing career was a big thing in Europe.
          MA achieved a lot over his adult life – sporting and just his personality.

          For sure I too don’t consider him an iconic figure but to say he achieved nothing is demonstrably wrong on quite a few levels.

          1. So WHY aren’t the THOUSANDS of Vietnam War draft dodgers put on the same pedestal as this [soon to be] brain damaged idiot?

            You know, like GW Bush and Donald Trump with his obviously FAKED “bone spurs”.

            MA was just a chicken when it came to being in a war zone (he could have well survived — I DID.) He didn’t even do anything respectable like go to college/university …. he just pulled a bullshit tantrum and said, “I don’t want to go.”

            No, he doesn’t deserve shit except for what he really received — brain damage from the idiot sport of boxing.

  3. Back to Alan Turing. It has been observed that World War 2 (in Europe) was won with British intelligence, American steel, and Russian blood.

    The heart of British intelligence was Alan Turing, who arguably contributed more than any other single individual in the whole British Empire, to the allied victory.

    Sadly for Alan, as they say, no good deed goes unpunished.

  4. I’ve no idea if this is an urban legendor not, but apparently, according to some, Alan Turing injected poison via a syringe into an apple and took a bite and swallowed it. A bit like Sleeping Beauty. Interestingly Apple computers have an Apple with a bite out of it.

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