This Day in History
June 23, 1912
Computer pioneer Alan Turing is Born
Turing, a British mathematician, logician and cryptanalyst, played key roles in the conception and theoretical underpinnings of electronic computers. As a codebreaker at Bletchley Park in the U.K. during WWII, Turing led the team that cracked the 'unbreakable' Enigma code used by the German high command for battlefield communications. This has led some observers to speculate that Turing's work alone shortened the war by two years, savings many lives. Turing is best-known today for his work on the idea of a 'universal computer,' one that could run any program. This has since become known as a "Turing Machine." Turing died under mysterious circumstances from cyanide poisoning in 1954, though it was officially declared suicide. He was 41.