Women of Interest – Grace Hopper

Grace Hopper was born on December 9, 1906, in New York City and died January 1, 1992, in Arlington, Virginia. Hopper was involved in the development of UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer 1) the first all electronic digital computer. However, she is best known for inventing the first computer compiler program, which translates written instructions into codes that computers can read. This development led to Hopper becoming a co-developer of COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) which is one of the earliest computer languages. Hopper foresaw that one day computers would become a part of everyday life; not only in business, but for everyone and that they would be small enough to fit on a desk. Throughout her career Hopper lectured extensively on computers, at times up to 300 lectures per year. During her life she received many awards, including being elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1963), and Achievement Awards from the Society of Women Engineers (1964). Hopper was given the Man of the Year Award by the Data Processing Management Association in 1969. Between the years of 1972 and 1987 Hopper received no less than 37 honorary degrees. President George Bush awarded Grace Hopper the National Medal of Technology “… the first woman to receive America’s highest technology award as an individual. The award recognises her as a computer pioneer, who spent a half century helping keep America on the leading edge of high technology.”

Hooper received far too many awards to be listed here. Further information about this noteworthy woman may be found at the following websites: