He’s Gone: Clive Sinclair, dead at (ZX)81

Clive Sinclair has died after a ten year battle with cancer (July 30, 1940 to September 16, 2021).

Sinclair was a prolific inventor, who created the first pocket calculator in 1972 (two years before Texas Instruments), the Sinclair Spectrum computer range which introduced millions of people to computing not just in the UK, but also across Europe and clones in the Soviet Union.  Generations of computer programmers exist because of his affordable computers.  He also invented a watch, an LCD TV, and others.

Kotaku: Father Of Home Computing Sir Clive Sinclair Dies Aged 81

Deutsche Welle: UK inventor, computing pioneer Clive Sinclair dies at 81

Boing Boing: Sir Clive Sinclair, 1940–2021

Engadget: Home computer legend Sir Clive Sinclair dies at 81

IEEE Computer Society: Sir Clive Sinclair (bio, not an obituary)

Some of the obituaries I’ve seen bother me because they keep bringing up the C5 and other failures instead of focusing on his successes and his influence on computing.  This is a man who changed lives without hurting people (unlike, say, politicians).  He deserves more respect than they’re giving him.


  1. jrkrideau says

    A friend had a Sinclair ZX80, a tape recorder and eventually a used teletype machine. This hobby turned into a career.