"If we had known about Alan Turing's homosexuality from the beginning, we might have lost the war."
Jill has a post up about the Turing test, which made me remember the above quote.
Alan Turing was a mathematician. He was pretty much the guy who invented the computer, and actually worked on a few of the early ones, and many of the earliest conceptual problems. He was also probably the most successful codebreaker during WWII. Because of him, and some material from Polish intelligence, the Allies were able to crack the ENIGMA machine's codes, thus giving them access to a lot of information on German troop deployment. In effect, he was probably one of the ten most important men in the Allied forces, and quite possibly the only one the Allies couldn't have won the war without.
After the war, in '52, he was convicted of "gross indecency" (i.e. homosexual sex) and forced to take hormonal treatment to decrease his sex drive. This led him for a period to develop breasts. If this had happened 10 years earlier; if some overzealously Christian bureaucrat had suddenly decided to act on Turing's (supposedly rather flagrant) homosexuality, who knows what might have happened?
He later killed himself by eating an apple laced with cyanide. Supposedly, the Apple logo, with a half-eaten apple, is a homage to him.