Alan Turing, a gay man and the father of computer science, was named BBC’s Greatest Person of the 20th Century, reported Gay Star News.
The public voted for the scientist during a live broadcast of BBC Twos Icons: The Greatest Person of the 20th Century. He took the title over other influential figures like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Pablo Picasso, and Muhammad Ali.
Turing broke Adolf Hitler’s Enigma codes during World War II, shortening the war by up to two years and likely saving many lives. After the war though, in 1952, Turing was prosecuted for his sexuality. Instead of going to prison, he accepted chemical castration. He died two years after from cyanide poisoning, likely by suicide.
Turing was pardoned of his 1952 conviction by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013.
“[Turing] was a man who worked almost entirely in secret, who received little credit for cracking the Nazi codes and shortening the war and who died having been branded a criminal,” said presenter Nick Robinson. “Today he is the most celebrated figure of the 20th century, a father of computing, war hero, and genius.”