The Life and Times of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper


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Grace Hopper mastered the many fields in which she practiced.

She was a leader in the tech industry, an integral part of the U.S. Navy and a loved and celebrated professor and public figure.

Hopper earned a PhD from Yale in Mathematics in 1934. In 1943, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Her career in both computing and the U.S. Navy was intertwined and lasted the course of 60 years. In 1944, the Navy assigned her to work on Mark I, the first computer built in America. She also solved an equation for the Manhattan Project which would make the atomic bomb function – in three months.

Hopper also spent time working on Mark II and UNIVAC I from 1947 to 1949. From 1951 to 1952, she helped to invent the first ever compiler, a software system which helped make complex source code more understandable. Seven years later, she helped to create COBOL, a primary coding language for business applications.

At the age of 60, Hopper retired from the Navy with the rank of Commander – only to be called back one year later. She attempted to retire again at age 65, but was called back again. She retired for the last time at age 79 in 1986. During her time in the Navy she earned the titles of: Commander, Captain, Commodore and Rear Admiral - Lower Half – as well as eight military awards.

Hopper passed away in 1992, but her contribution to both the Navy and the tech industry are celebrated. The annual Grace Hopper Celebration conference takes place each October to honour Hopper and the contributions women have made to computing. As well, Hopper Hall, the first military academy building named after a woman, is set to be completed in 2019.

Storagepipe Solutions created the below infographic, “The Life of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper,” to showcase Hopper’s long list of accomplishments which have made a lasting impression in the world of computing, the military and academia.

Grace Hopper

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