Admiral Grace Murray Hopper was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom today. She has been a long-time favorite of mine, seeing as I was a career computer programmer. I was privileged to hear her speak in a small half-empty auditorium at the University of Missouri circa 1977. Her talk was riveting. She claimed to have been the only flag officer at the Pentagon to have both the U.S. flag and a Jolly Roger (pirate) flag at the entrance to her office. (Apparently, her staff was known to scrounge for office supplies after-hours.) She was awarded the inaugural Computer Sciences MAN of the Year award from the Data Processing Management Association! Ha!
I’m elated that she has been so honored, albeit posthumously. You can read about her award HERE and her life HERE. And while you’re at it, you might as well view the story of another woman of technology named Margaret Hamilton, also honored with the Medal of Freedom. You can see her amazing story HERE.
There is a tendency in my nation to disregard, diminish, women in tech. These two women crush that notion. Praise be.