Clive Sinclair, whose ZX Spectrum helped birth the UK games industry, has died

Clive Sinclair, whose ZX Spectrum helped birth the UK games industry, has died

One of the pioneers of home computing, Sir Clive Sinclair, has passed away following a decade-long battle with cancer. Sinclair was a pioneer in the field of home computing and electric vehicles, and his affordable ZX Spectrum is credited with sparking an interest in coding among British young people that eventually gave rise to the UK games industry. He was 81.

Sinclair was born 1940 near Richmond. As a child, he excelled in mathematics and took holiday jobs at electronics companies, eventually opting to sell mail order electronic kits by mail rather than attend university. He developed the first pocket calculator in 1972.

While Sinclair would eventually go on to create a pioneering line of battery-powered vehicles in the 1980s, it was Sinclair Research’s ZX Spectrum that proved the most revolutionary breakthrough of the inventor’s career. While home computers were already available when the smart-looking little ZX Spectrum first appeared in 1982, it was one of the first that was affordable for a mass audience, retailing for just £125 for the version with 16kB RAM – although for an extra £50, you could get the model with a whopping 48kB RAM onboard.