Grace Hopper John Powers Middleton
Grace Hopper; image from Vassar College

It was recently announced that Middleton Media and Google are partnering together for a film based on the life of Grace Hopper, an American computer scientist and an admiral in the U.S. Navy.

The script, which will be adapted by Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin, is based upon Grace Hopper and The Invention of the Information Age, a novel by Kurt Beyer. The film will be produced by John Powers Middleton and Alex Foster under Middleton Media.

The film will show the life of Hopper and her greatest accomplishments, including solving The Manhattan Project’s final calculations in WWII, developing the first software compiler, and creating COBOL, a computer language that is commonly used today.

Hopper was born in 1906 in New York City. Her early curiosity in technology led her to earn a bachelor’s degree in math and physics from Vassar College in 1928. She then attended Yale University, where she earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in mathematics in 1930 and 1934, respectively.

During World War II, she left her position as associate professor at Vassar to join the Navy, where she worked in computer programming. Once completing training, she worked on one of the world’s first computers at Harvard. The machine, which ran calculations for the war effort, was 8 feet tall, 51 feet long, and contained 750,000 parts.

In 1949, she decided to work in private industry and a few short years later, her team designed the first compiler for computer languages, which was a precursor for COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language).

Hopper has been recognized numerous times for her crucial contributions to the field of computing. In 1991, she became the first female to receive the National Medal of Technology, and Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

Hopper was laid to rest in the Arlington National Cemetery in 1992.

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