Born: 10 December 1815
Died: 27 November 1852
Her mother, fearful that young Ada had inherited her father’s tempestuous character, had her tutored in mathematics and music in an attempt to counter any tendencies toward becoming a poet. In fact, Ada inherited both her father’s intelligence and his psychological imbalance. Ada excelled in mathematics, but her education was sometimes interrupted by a mysterious chronic illness, which may have been psychosomatic. For instance, a severe “attack” at age 14 left her unable to walk for almost three years.Things changed for Ada when, at age 18, she heard a lecture by Charles Babbage,
Meanwhile, Ada’s life was not always happy. As her mother feared, Ada was afflicted by the same psychological problems that had made her father so difficult. She suffered a mental breakdown followed by chronic problems with breathing and eating. She saw a doctor about these problems, but his regimen of medicines, which included addictive drugs such as heroin and morphine, caused her to suffer delusions. She beat these addictions, and the delusions ended, but she then became obsessed with betting on horse races, and in the 1840s accumulated a considerable gambling debt. At the height of all this, she was struck by cancer and died at the early age of 36 on 27 November 1852.