Cryptologic Bytes

"On This Date in History" Calendar

1906: Birth of Grace Hopper - computer pioneer and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral

Saturday, December 9, 2023

9 December 1906: Birth date of Grace Hopper, computer pioneer and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral.

At the age of seven, she was already taking apart alarm clocks, determined to figure out how they worked. Often deemed "The Queen of Code," Grace Hopper was an American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral. On 22 November 2016, President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 21 individuals. Among the recipients were computing pioneers Grace Hopper (posthumously) and Margaret Hamilton.

A pioneer in the field, Grace Hopper was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer in 1944, and invented the first compiler for a computer programming language. She popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first high-level programming languages. She is credited with popularizing the term "debugging" for fixing computer glitches (inspired by an actual moth removed from the computer).

Owing to the breadth of her accomplishments and her naval rank, she is sometimes referred to as "Amazing Grace."

Learn more about Grace via the links below.


Check out the Cryptologic Bytes Archives for a wide variety of articles on all topics related to cryptology, codes and ciphers, related publications, Museums, and more.