New York Times posts obituary for Alan Turing 65 years after his death

New York Times posts obituary for Alan Turing 65 years after his death
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The New York Times published an obituary for British mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing on Thursday, 65 years after his death in 1954.

Turing, who was gay during a time in Britain where it was considered a crime, led a team of scientists, cryptographers and mathematicians who cracked the German Enigma code and helped shorten the course of World War II, according to historians.

"Alan Turing's genius embraced the first visions of modern computing, but he was cast aside and died a criminal for his homosexuality," reads a tweet from The New York Times Arts's official Twitter account. "He never received a New York Times obituary — until now."


Turing's cause of death remains in dispute, with a coroner concluding he had died of suicide via cyanide poisoning "while the balance of his mind was disturbed.”

His mother, Ethel Turing, disputed the determination, however, calling his poisoning an accident, according to the Times.

The obituary notes that it wasn't until 2009 that the British government, which had criminalized homosexuality until 1967, apologized for how Turing was treated.

"We’re sorry — you deserved so much better,” said Gordon Brown, Britain's prime minister at the time. “Alan and the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted, as he was, under homophobic laws were treated terribly.”

In 2013, Queen Elizabeth II granted Turing a full pardon.

Turing's story inspired the critically acclaimed "The Imitation Game" in 2014, which was nominated for an Academy Award for best picture. The film grossed more than $230 million at the box office.

The Turing obituary is part of a series presented by the Times "about remarkable people whose deaths, beginning in 1851, went unreported in the Times."