Born before women had the right to vote, Grace joined the navy during WWII and worked on computers. They were being used solely for mathematics, but Grace believed computers could be programmed for communication. Everyone told her it was impossible, but she didn’t let the doubters stop her. Grace ignored the rules and followed her heart. “When you have a good idea and you’ve tried it and know it’s going to work, go ahead and do it,” she said, “because it’s easier to apologize later than it is to get permission.”
In 1952 Grace created the first computer compilers, and the computer programs that run our banks, businesses and government were developed by drawing on her innovations. Her pioneering work in programming is even found in today’s highly popular computer games.
It was Grace’s ingenuity that for the first time enabled the computer to be seen as something useful in both business and the private sector.
So, the next time you fire up your computer to surf the net or connect with family and friends, thank a woman, thank Grace Murray Hopper.