Since the Treasury Department announced they will be redesigning the $10 bill and featuring a woman on the front, it got me thinking. While more obscure, Grace Hopper is the ideal candidate.
Lets go through her qualifications:
- Attained the rank of United States Navy rear admiral. A rare feat for a woman (the first was Alene Duerk).
- Active in the service between 1943–1966, 1967–1971, 1972–1986 for a total of approx. 41 years of service. Including during WWII.
- Notable achievements in her field had a large influence on shaping the her industry as well as the nation as high level programming languages accelerated computer proliferation through business and eventually personal use:
- Wrote the first compiler.
- Invented COBOL, which is still in use over 50 years later and it’s predecessor .
- She’s the one responsible for the term “bug” being used to describe a defect in software.
- Responsible for some badass quotes like “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.”
- And lastly… diseased (technically relevant).
Per the Treasury Dept. website:
…The person should be iconic and have made a significant contribution to — or impact on — protecting the freedoms on which our nation was founded.
I think a Navy veteran buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors meets the qualifications as much as anyone who walked the face of this earth.
So to summarize, she’s a female veteran who climbed the ranks of the Navy who quite literally invented her field and launched and industry that’s reshaping her country and the world even years after she passed away. I’d say that’s worth $10.