Grace Hopper
Hopper at the computer
Grace Murray Hopper at the UNIVAC keyboard, c. 1960

[The Computer] was the first machine man built that assisted the power of his brain instead of the strength of his arm.

Grace Hopper speaking in 1987


  • United States Army Rear Admiral
  • One of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer in 1944
  • Helped to develop COBOL
  • Awarded (poshumously) the Presedential Medal of Freedom on Nov. 22, 2016


  • 1969: Hopper was awarded the inaugural Data Processing Management Association Man of the Year award (now called the Distinguished Information Sciences Award).
  • 1971:The annual Grace Murray Hopper Award for Outstanding Young Computer Professionals was established in 1971 by the Association for Computing Machinery.
  • 1973:First American and the first woman of any nationality to be made a Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society.
  • 1982:American Association of University Women Achievement Award and an Honorary Doctor of Science from Marquette University.
  • 1985:Honorary Doctor of Letters from Western New England College (now Western New England University).
  • 1986:Upon her retirement, she received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.
  • 1987:The first Computer History Museum Fellow Award Recipient "for contributions to the development of programming languages, for standardization efforts, and for lifelong naval service.
  • 1988:Golden Gavel Award at the Toastmasters International convention in Washington, DC.
  • 1991:National Medal of Technology.
  • 1991:Elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • 1996:USS Hopper (DDG-70) was launched. Nicknamed Amazing Grace, it is on a very short list of U.S. military vessels named after women.
  • 2001:Eavan Boland wrote a poem dedicated to Grace Hopper titled "Code" in her 2001 release Against Love Poetry.
  • 2001:The Gracies, the Government Technology Leadership Award were named in her honor.
  • 2009:The Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center named its flagship system "Hopper".
  • 2009:Office of Naval Intelligence creates the Grace Hopper Information Services Center.
  • 2013:Google made the Google Doodle for Hopper's 107th birthday an animation of her sitting at a computer, using COBOL to print out her age. At the end of the animation, a moth flies out of the computer.
  • 2016:On November 22, 2016 Hopper was posthumously awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom for her accomplishments in the field of computer science.

Wit and Wisdom From "The Wit and Wisdom of Grace Hopper" by Philip Scheiber

  • Life was simple before World War II. After that, we had systems.
  • Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise.
  • We're flooding people with information. We need to feed it through a processor. A human must turn information into intelligence or knowledge. We've tended to forget that no computer will ever ask a new question.
  • You manage things, you lead people. We went overboard on management and forgot about leadership. It might help if we ran the MBAs out of Washington.

Read more about Grace Hopper on Wikipedia.

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2016 Jonell Alvi