Grace Hopper was a U.S. Navy officer and highly regarded computer scientist. She was a pioneer in computer programming and created the first computer programming language compiler. Her conceptualized ideas led to the creation of the COBOL computer program. During her work on the Harvard Mark II computer, a moth became lodged in a relay and caused the machine to malfunction. Hopper told her colleagues that they were “debugging” the machine. This descriptive term endures today.
Hopper entered the naval reserve in World War II. She retired from the service several times, but the navy recalled her to active duty because of her knowledge and experience. She achieved the rank of Rear Admiral before her final retirement at the age of 79. Hopper then served as an advisor to Digital Equipment Corporation until she passed away in 1992. The naval officer was buried with full military honors.