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Amazing Grace Hopper – Happy Birthday and RIP

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Amazing Grace Hopper – Happy Birthday and RIP




Professor (and later Rear Admiral) Grace Murray Hopper VC Class of 1928 Ph.f7.14 – The History of Mathematics – Vasser University


It is with great pride in what “Amazing Grace” Hopper accomplished for computer science and women and the Navy, that I wish her a Happy Birthday and may she rest in peace on what would have been her 107th birthday today, December 9th.


Grace Hopper was born on December 9, 1906 and passed away on January 1, 1992.

According to the article at Time regarding the Google Doodle Honors Grace Hopper, Early Computer Scientist, Grace created COBOL, is credited with coining the phrase ‘bug in the system’, was a very good teacher making things easy to understand in normal terms like using a piece of wire to represent the distance electricity would travel in a nanosecond:



In addition, according to the Time article, she also became the oldest woman in the armed forces at the age of 76!



Grace Hopper – One of our favorite mottos at Google — “It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission” — is a paraphrase of Grace Hopper, a computer scientist, inventor of the compiler, teacher and more. Each year Google participates in the Celebration of Women in Computing in her name, recognizing the strides women have made in computing and anticipating the bright future ahead. ~ Google.com



In the “Full text of “Valley: Lebanon Valley College Magazine“, Grace is quoted as saying,

“The best life plan you can make is to be aware” says Dr. Grace Murray Hopper, who delivered the Commencement address to the Class of 1987. Hopper was presented the Honorary Doctor of Science degree during the festivities.

“You are the future of this country, and all of what we are trying to do will lie in your hands.”

Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper


The text itself is well worth reading and is pretty long, so here’s just one small section of it regarding Grace Hopper:

Navy on the leading edge of computer



Since 1952, Hopper has published more

than 50 papiers and articles on computer soft-

ware and programming languages. She was

a leader in the development of the COBOL

computer language and has served on the

ANSI X3.4 Committee on the standardization

of computer languages. She also serves on

the CODASYL Executive Committee.


She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vassar

College were she received a Vassar College

Fellowship. She continued her education at

Yale University where she earned an M.A. in

1930, and a Ph.D. in 1934, together with elec-

tion to Sigma Xi and the receipt of two Sterl-

ing Scholarships. She attended New York

University as a Vassar Faculty Fellow in 1941.


During her career. Hopper taught at several

colleges and universities, including Vassar

College, Barnard College, Harvard Universi-

ty, the University of Pennsylvania and

George Washington University.


At her retirement ceremony aboard the

U.S.S. Constitution in Boston, Navy

Secretary John F. Lehman, Jr presented Hop-

per with the Distinguished Service Medal.

More than 40 colleges and universities have

conferred honorary degrees on her, and she

has been honored by her peers on several oc-

casions. She was the recipient of the first

Computer Sciences "Man of the Year" award

given by the Data Processing Management

Association. Her entry in "Who's Who" takes

34 lines to thumbnail her accomplishments,

appointments and honors. Upon retirement

from the Navy, Admiral Hopper became a

Senior Consultant for the Digital Equipment

Corporation in Washington, D.C.


Before Admiral Hopper finished her ad-

dress, she left the graduating class a promise.


"If during the next five years any one of

you says, 'but we've always done it that way,'

1 will instantly materialize beside you, and I

will haunt you for 24 hours and see if I can

get you to take another look. And 1 know it

works. I've already had over 100 letters

thanking me for haunting people."


Grace Hopper was indeed an “Amazing Grace”. You will be missed and remembered, Grace. Rest in peace.

The most dangerous phrase in the language is, “We’ve always done it this way.”

~ Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, USNR, (1906-1992)


Here are just a few additional articles of note and sites about “Amazing Grace” Hopper:

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) – GraceHopper.org

Review: Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age, by Kurt W. Beyer – HighTechHistory.com

Grace Murray Hopper – Yale

Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, USNR, (1906-1992) – history.navy.mil


Repost from FransComputerServices Blog.

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Wow, very nice post!!! Thanks a lot :thumbup:

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Thanks, Josh! :>

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super post. indeed, radm grace was an amazing women, more so because so few women care for computer work.

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