Inventors are inspirational. Grace Murray Hopper was an inventor, teacher, computer scientist, and United States Navy Rear Admiral. Her work as a computer scientist led to her being a programmer of the Harvard Mark I computer in 1944. She invented the first compiler for a computer programming language. She was part of a group of people that popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages and to the development of COBOL, a programming language.
Grace Murray was born on December 9, 1906 in New York, New York. She attended Hartridge School in New Jersey and then attended Vassar College. In 1928, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s in mathematics and physics. In 1930, she received a master’s degree from Yale University. In 1931, she began teaching mathematics at Vassar College. In 1934, she received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University. She later, in 1941, became an associate professor at Vassar College. She was married from 1930 until 1945 to Vincent Foster Hopper and kept his surname for the remainder of her life.
In 1943, she began her naval career. She joined the United States Navy Reserve. She was assigned to the Bureau of Ships Computation Project at Harvard University. She served at the Harvard Computation Lab until 1949. In 1949, Grace became an employee of the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation, that later became the Remington Rand corporation. By 1952, she had an operational compiler. In 1954, Grace became the company’s first director of automatic programming. From 1967 until 1977, she served as the director of the Navy Programming Languages Group. She developed the implementation of standards for testing computer systems and components.
Grace Hopper first retired from the Naval Reserve when she was 60 due to regulations. She was recalled in 1967. She briefly retired again in 1971, but returned in 1972. She received promotions. She was made to retire again in 1986. She was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal. She went on to be hired as a senior consultant to Digital Equipment Corporation. She lectured as a goodwill ambassador. She kept this this position until her death in 1992 when she was 85 years old.
She has received many awards and much recognition. Her life, service, and work is impressive. Be inspired! Have a bright day!