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Kathleen Antonelli

Kathleen Antonelli

Born Feb 12, 1921

Kathleen "Kay" McNulty Mauchly Antonelli was one of the six original programmers of the ENIAC, the first general-purpose electronic digital computer.

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Kathleen Antonelli.


1921 Birth She was born Kathleen Rita McNulty in the small village of Creeslough in the Gaeltacht area (Irish-speaking region) of County Donegal, Ireland in 1921 during the Irish War of Independence. … Read More


1942 21 Years Old After attending parochial grade school in Chestnut Hill and Hallahan Catholic Girls High School in Philadelphia, she graduated with a degree in mathematics from Chestnut Hill College for Women in June 1942 (the attack on Pearl Harbor had shaken her senior year). … Read More
1943 22 Years Old The ENIAC was developed for the purpose of performing these same calculations between 1943–1946. In June 1945, Kay was selected to be one of its first programmers, along with several other women from the computer corps: Betty Snyder, Marlyn Wescoff, and Ruth Lichterman, and a fifth computer named Helen Greenman (nicknamed "Greenie.") When Greenie declined to go to Aberdeen for training because she had a nice apartment in West Philadelphia and a 1st alternate refused to cut short a vacation in Missouri, Betty Jean Jennings, the 2nd alternate, got the job, and between June and August 1945 they received training at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in the IBM punched card equipment that was to be used as the I/O for the ENIAC. (Later, Kay's college schoolmate and fellow computer Fran Bilas would join the team of ENIAC programmers at the Moore School, though she did not attend the initial training at Aberdeen.) The computer could complete the same ballistics calculations described above in about 10 seconds, but it would often take one or two days to set the computer up for a new set of problems, via plugs and switches. … Read More
1947 26 Years Old Kay McNulty was transferred to Aberdeen Proving Ground's Ballistics Research Laboratory along with the ENIAC when it was moved there in mid-1947; she was joined by Ruth Lichterman and Fran Bilas, but the other three women began families or started other jobs, preferring to stay in Philadelphia rather than relocate to the remote Aberdeen and live an Army base life. … Read More
1948 27 Years Old Resigning her post at Aberdeen, and without the blessing of her Irish Catholic parents, she married him in 1948. … Read More


1997 76 Years Old She was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in 1997 along with the other original ENIAC programmers, and she accepted the induction of John Mauchly into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio in 2002. Antonelli was diagnosed with inoperable cancer in early 2006, and died in April at the age of 85.
2006 85 Years Old Died in 2006.
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathleen_Antonelli.
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.