Grace Murray Hopper

1979 W. Wallace McDowell Award Recipient
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“For her combination of technical skill, leadership, teaching capability, and single-minded drive for the invention, adoption, and standardization of high-level programming languages”

 

Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was an American computer scientist and United States Naval officer. A pioneer in the field, she was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, and she developed the first compiler for a computer programming language.  She conceptualized and led the development of COBOL, one of the first modern programming languages. She is also credited with popularizing the term "debugging" for fixing computer glitches (motivated by an actual moth removed from the computer). Because of the breadth of her accomplishments and her naval rank, she is sometimes referred to as "Amazing Grace". The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) was named for her.