Herman Hollerith (February 29, 1860 – November 17, 1929) was an American statistician who developed a mechanical tabulator based on punched cards to rapidly tabulate statistics from millions of pieces of data.
He was the founder of one of the companies that later merged and became IBM.
Hollerith was born in Buffalo, New York, where he spent his early childhood.
He entered the City College of New York in 1875 and graduated from the Columbia University School of Mines with an “Engineer of Mines” degree in 1879.
In 1880 he listed himself as a mining engineer while living in Manhattan, and completed his Ph.D. in 1890 at Columbia University.
He eventually moved to Washington, D.C., living in Georgetown, with a home on 29th Street and ultimately a factory for manufacturing his tabulating machines at 31st Street and the C&O Canal, where today there is a commemorative plaque placed by IBM.