Fifty-five years after Alan Turing committed suicide, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologized for Britain’s treatment of him. Turing was a mathematical genius, who broke Hitler’s code in World War II, unscrambling thousands of messages with military secrets and aiding the Allied efforts enormously. Turing was also homosexual, and in 1952 he was convicted of gross indecency for having consensual sex with another man. Faced with a choice between imprisonment and chemical castration, Turing chose the latter. He killed himself two years later.
“The debt of gratitude he is owed makes it all the more horrifying, therefore, that he was treated so inhumanely,” Brown said. “We’re sorry, you deserved so much better.”