Grace Hopper

Updated: 01/18/2023 by Computer Hope
Grace Hopper

Name: Grace Murray Hopper

Born: December 9, 1906, New York City, USA

Death: January 1, 1992 (Age: 85)

Computer-related contributions

  • American computer scientist and United States Navy officer.
  • Often thought of as the mother of the modern computer.
  • One of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, and developed the first compiler for a computer programming language.
  • Erroneously credited as coining the term: "bug".
  • Extended the meaning of debug.
  • Lead the team that invented COBOL and often called the mother of COBOL.
  • Part of the team that helped develop the UNIVAC I computer.

Honors and awards

  • Presidential Medal of Freedom (2016) (posthumous).
  • USS Hopper (DDG-70) launched (1996), one of the few U.S. military vessels named in honor of a woman.
  • National Medal of Technology (1991).
  • Computer History Museum Fellow Award (1987).
  • The first woman to return to active duty after the United States Navy was unable to develop a working payroll plan after 823 attempts.
  • Again recalled from retirement to help standardize the high-level computer languages used by the Navy.
  • Because of her accomplishments, military rank, and unparalleled achievements, she is sometimes referred to as "Amazing Grace."


"Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, 'We've always done it this way.' I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise."

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