On This Day

Grace Hopper

Computer Scientist and Admiral Grace Hopper

Profession: Computer Scientist and Admiral

United States of America

Biography: One of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer which was used in the war effort and the Manhattan project from 1944.

Hopper went on to invent the first compiler for a universal computer programming language.

She is also credited with coining the phrase 'debugging' after removing a moth with tweezers from a relay and taping it into the log.

Owing to both her accomplishments and naval rank, she was often referred to as "Amazing Grace". The USS Hopper, a Burke-class guided-missile destroyer was named for her, as was the Cray XE6 "Hopper" supercomputer.

Born: December 9, 1906
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Horse
Star Sign: Sagittarius

Died: January 1, 1992 (aged 85)
Cause of Death: In her sleep of natural causes

Historical Events

  • 1945-09-09 1st "bug" in a computer program discovered by Grace Hopper, a moth was removed with tweezers from a relay & taped into the log
  • 2016-11-22 US President Barack Obama posthumously awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to pioneering computer scientist and Navy Admiral Grace Hopper