Herman Hollerith Biography
(Father of modern automatic computation)
Birthday: February 29, 1860 (Pisces)
Born In: Buffalo
Widely recognized as one of the founding fathers of modern automatic computation, Herman Hollerith was an American statistician who created a mechanical tabulator that rapidly arranged millions of pieces of data into statistics. His designs for tabulating and sorting machines and the key punch became the standard for the information processing/computing industry for almost a century. His developments influenced the computing field for nearly an entire century, and his contributions to modern computing were not limited to just the tabulating machine and sorter. He also created the first key punch and automatic card-feed mechanism and even took the first steps toward programming when he added a wiring panel to his 1906 tabulating machine. As a result, the machine could complete different tasks without having to be completely rebuilt. This innovation is considered the foundation of today's information processing industry. His invention was the forerunner of the computer, a device which affects virtually every facet of modern life. In addition to being an accomplished and ingenious inventor, he also founded one of the companies that would later become IBM. He is still remembered as one of the founding fathers of modern programming, the father of information processing, and the world’s first statistical engineer.