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Women in Communications Electronics History – Grace Hopper

The US Army CECOM requested approval for the dedication of Building 6007 in memory of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, a pioneer Computer Programmer and co-inventor of the Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL).

Building 6007 is named after Grace Hopper.

Grace Murray (Hopper) was born in New York City on 9 December 1906. She graduated from Vassar College in 1928 and received a PhD in Mathematics from Yale University in 1934. She was a member of the Vassar faculty from 1931 to 1943, when she joined the Naval Reserve. Commissioned a Lieutenant (Junior Grade) in 1944, she was assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance and immediately became involved in the development of the then-embryonic electronic computer. Over more than four decades to follow, she was in the forefront of computer and programming language progress.

Hopper discovered a dead moth in a machine, which was causing it to not work. She later coined the term "bug" for a logistical error in a program, as well as the term "debugging" for fixing the code.

Leaving active duty after the war’s end, Dr. Hopper was a member of the Harvard University faculty and, from 1949, was employed in private industry. She retained her Naval Reserve affiliation, attaining the rank of Commander before retiring at the end of 1966. In August 1967, Commander Hopper was recalled to active duty and assigned to the Chief of Naval Operations’ staff as Director, Navy Programming Languages Group. She was promoted to Captain in 1973, Commodore in 1983 and Rear Admiral in 1985, a year before she retired from the Naval service. She remained active in industry and education until her death on 1 January 1992.

Hopper in 1952.

The Navy endorsed this memorialization.

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  1. Cynthia Brenton says

    Grace, an amazing woman, pioneer and Naval Office. She is an inspiration to all of us.