Admiral Grace Hopper

Grace Hopper


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

“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