Saturday, March 24, 2012
Autographs - Andrew Hodges
First, some background: Since my college days, I have always been interested in Alan Turing and his work. His premature death by apparent suicide always made me wonder whether he might have been gay. By 1981, there were a couple of published mentions that he was.
In his May 1981 Metamagical Themas column in Scientific American, Douglas Hofstadter wrote, "[Turing] was homosexual and was much persecuted for it. In the end it apparently got to be too much and he killed himself."
A few months later, when I found an email address for Hofstadter, I wrote and asked him about his sources. (Yes, I've been on email a very long time!) He replied, "A fellow named Andrew Hodges, in London, is writing what will probably be the definitive biography of Turing, and it will give all the details ... Why don't you write to him? His [postal] address is ..."
I struck up a correspondence with Hodges, and after his book was published in 1983, I helped arrange some of his speaking engagements about it in the U.S. He even stayed in my apartment in L.A. one time.
By the way, this is the centennial year of Turing's birth. There are many activities. Click here for details.