Admiral Grace Hopper

Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

Programmer

December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992

Inducted in the Inaugural Class (1990)

Notable accomplishments:

  • “Mother of COBOL” (COmmon Business Oriented Language), one of the first computer programming languages
  • Developed first compiler program
  • Responsible for finding the first computer “bug” — a moth stuck in the contactors (solenoids) of the giant Mark Il calculator at Harvard
  • Fifth-oldest serving Navy officer in U.S. history

Quotes:
“It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.” (Chips Ahoy magazine, July 1986)

“We’re flooding people with information. We need to feed it through a processor. A human must turn information into intelligence or knowledge.” (OCLC Newsletter, March-April 1987)

Suggested reading:
“Grace Hopper: Admiral of the Cyber Sea” by Kathleen Broom Williams (2004)

“Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age” by Kurt W. Beyer (2009)

Learn more:
Yale University biography