|Residence United States|
Known for MANIAC I
|Fields Computer science|
Name Klara von
|Born August 18, 1911
Budapest, Austria-Hungary (1911-08-18) |
Institutions Princeton University Site Y, Los Alamos
Died November 10, 1963, San Diego, California, United States
Spouse John von Neumann (m. 1938–1957)
Institution Princeton University, Los Alamos National Laboratory
People also search for John von Neumann
Nationality Hungarian and American
Klára (Klari) Dán von Neumann (18 August 1911 – 10 November 1963) was a scientist, and a pioneer computer programmer.
Klara was born in Budapest, Hungary on August 18, 1911 to Károly - Karl Dán and Camila Stadler, a wealthy Jewish family. Her father had previously served in the Austro-Hungarian Army as an officer during World War I, and the family moved to Vienna to escape Bela Kun. Once the regime was overthrown, the family moved back to Budapest. Her family was wealthy, and often held parties where Klara would meet many different people from various stations in life. At 14, Klara became a national champion in figure skating. She attended Veres Pálné Gimnázium in Budapest and graduated in 1929. She married Ferenc Engel in 1931 and Andor Rapoch in 1936. Klara had previously met John von Neumann during one of his return trips to Budapest prior to the outbreak of World War II. When von Neumann's first marriage ended in a divorce, Klara divorced Rapoch and married von Neumann in 1938 and emigrated to the United States. She became head of the Statistical Computing Group at Princeton University in 1943, and moved to Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1946 to work on the MANIAC I as a computer programmer. After von Neumann's death, Klara married Carl Eckart in 1958 and moved to La Jolla, California. She died in 1963 when she drove from her home in La Jolla to the beach and walked into the surf and drowned. The San Diego coroner's office listed her death as a suicide.
Klara was one of the world's first computer programmers and coders. She helped solve mathematical problems using computer code. Klara wrote the code used on the MANIAC machine developed by John von Neumann and Julian Bigelow at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. She was also involved in the design of new controls for ENIAC and was one of its primary programmers. She taught early weather scientists how to program. Klára wrote the preface to John von Neumann's posthumously published, influential Silliman Lectures, later edited and published by Yale University Press as "The Computer and the Brain". She features significantly in computing historian George Dyson's book, Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe.