Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

Programmer

20th Century

United States

Born in New York City on December 9, 1906, Grace Murray Hopper was a computer programmer and rear admiral for the United States Navy. Hopper earned her B.A. in math and physics from Vassar College in 1928, and later her Masters and Ph.D. from Yale. In 1943, Hopper joined the U.S. Navy. During her prolific career, Hopper made a number of significant contributions to the computer science field. The most notable among them being her contributions to the development of the language COBOL. She helped popularize the idea that languages should be written similarly to English rather than machine-code. She is also attributed with coining the term “de-bugging” after removing a moth from a computer.