The Life and Accomplishments of Grace Brewster Murray Hopper

Essay by amanaverHigh School, 11th gradeA+, June 2004

download word file, 5 pages 5.0


Grace Brewster Murray Hopper was born on December 9, 1906, in New York, New York, to the proud parents Walter and Mary Van Horn Murray. She would become the oldest of three children to grow up in a strong, Baptist based house. Her father, who was an accountant/insurance broker, always knew his "little Gracie" would take after him. He was proved right when Grace's first words were actually numbers. One of her mother's favorite stories to tell was about how one day Grace suddenly blurted out, "Seven!" Her mother always continued that story, jokingly, with how she would have preferred Grace never speak, for that was the beginning of an obsession with numbers and machines! Ironically, at the age of seven, Grace took apart every alarm clock in the house to see how they worked. When her father arrived home and saw what she had done, she calmly explained not to worry, because she had already reassembled them once!

She was definitely the only child in the family to appreciate math.

Her mother would pay her a nickel if she could tackle and sit on her brother long enough to get him to complete his algebra assignments. It didn't take long for her to realize that she could earn the reward of a dime if she'd leave him alone. Her world was very peaceful and happy as a child. Her family lived in the country and she actually enjoyed doing her chores. Grace especially loved roaming the woods trying to find a good spot to set up a trap. That meant she could build something! She and her siblings would spend their summers at their cousin's cottage on Lake Wentworth in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. They would play kick-the-can, hide-and-seek, and cops-and-robbers. Her favorite...