How Alan Turing ushered in modern computing (photos)
However, his life took a tragic turn. A homosexual in an era when homosexuality was against the law, Turing was prosecuted in 1952 and accepted chemical castration as an alternative to a jail sentence. He committed suicide just prior to his 42nd birthday. Years later, Britain Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologized for the "appalling" way Turing had been treated for being gay. Time Magazine in 1999 named Turing as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century.