Grace Brewster Murray Hopper
Photograph of Grace Hopper, courtesy of the U.S. Navy.
The Library of Virginia honored Grace Brewster Murray Hopper as one of its Virginia Women in History in 2006.
The Virginia Women in History Digital Trail is made possible by the Library of Virginia and American Evolution: Virginia to America, 1619–2019.
Backstory and Context
Throughout her career in mathematics, computer technology, and the navy—all fields dominated by men—Hopper continually had to prove herself. She observed, “If you do something once, people will call it an accident. If you do it twice, they call it a coincidence. But do it a third time and you’ve just proven a natural law!” Trying to fight what she called human beings’ allergy to change, she kept a clock on her wall that ran counterclockwise. Hopper retired to Arlington County, Virginia, in 1986 and became a consultant for Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). She died in 1992 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. A guided missile destroyer, commissioned in 1997, bears her name.