Sir Clive Sinclair, Genius Behind The Spectrum Computer, Dies Aged 81


Sir Clive Sinclair, Genius Behind Spectrum Computer, Dies Aged 81PA Images

Sir Clive Sinclair, the inventor of the Spectrum computer, has died aged 81. 

The technology pioneer passed away on Thursday morning, September 16, at his home in London following a long illness, according to his family.


Sinclair, an English entrepreneur and inventor, was most famous for his work in consumer electronics, such as making the home computer available to the masses.

File photo dated 16/10/83 of Sir Clive Sinclair, founder and chairman of Sinclair Research, at the launch of the Sinclair 2-inch pocket television. Home computing pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair has died at the age of 81, according to reports. Issue date: Thursday September 16, 2021.Alamy

Sinclair left school at the age of 17 to pursue his technological career, working as a technical journalist for four years to raise money and found Sinclair Radionics, the Guardian reported.

He made home computers more affordable and subsequently more easily accessible to the public, increasing their popularity. He also invented the pocket calculator, which was designed to be small and light unlike other models at the time.


He became most well-known for his ZX models of computer, which launched many gamers’ first experiences.

After becoming a household name, Sinclair was awarded with a knighthood in 1983. Fans of the pioneer have since taken to Twitter to commemorate the star.

ZX81 Home computer by Sinclair Research Alamy

Physicist Brian Cox commented, ‘Sad to hear that Clive Sinclair has died. The ZX81 was my introduction to computing and I loved it! Started out with a 1k version and eventually saved up for a 16k ram pack – thank you Clive!’


Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella wrote:

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair. Your innovations democratized computing and inspired so many, including myself. I vividly remember my first computer, a ZX80, and the sense of wonder and empowerment I felt. It was your device that sparked my passion for engineering.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, also paid tribute to the legend. He said, ‘RIP, Sir Sinclair. I loved that computer.’


Sinclair’s daughter Belinda, 57, told the Guardian how her father was ‘a rather amazing person’. She said how while ‘of course, he was so clever’, that he was ‘always interested in everything’.

‘My daughter and her husband are engineers so he’d be chatting engineering with them,’ she said.

The technology pioneer leaves behind Belinda, as well as two sons, Crispin and Bartholomew, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Topics: News, Now, Technology


The Independent and 1 other
  1. The Independent

    Sir Clive Sinclair, inventor behind Spectrum computer and C5, dies aged 81

  2. The Guardian

    Home computing pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair dies aged 81

Poppy Bilderbeck
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