Grace Hopper

Nov. 22, 2010
Hopper (2002)

A visionary who early on recognized the computer's potential for commercial applications, Hopper devoted her career to developing software tools that were easier to use. Her work in the U.S. Navy and the private sector spanned programming languages, software development concepts, compiler verification, and data processing. At the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corp., which she joined in 1949, her unwavering belief that programs could be written in English spurred Hopper and her team to develop a compiler for the Univac I and II that translated a language for typical business tasks. Convinced that an entire programming language could be developed using English words, Hopper overcame widespread skepticism to spearhead the design of the COmmon Business-Oriented Language. The first COBOL specifications appeared in 1959.

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