C++ originated in 1979, by Bjarne Stroutrup, he started working on "C with classes", the predecessor of C++. The goal and motivation was to create a fast and powerful language, building its roots upon the performance, efficiency, and portability of the widely used programming language - C. His original idea was to extend the C compiler with additional features such as classes, strong typing, inlining, and default arguments.
In 1983, the language was renamed to C++, with the ++ being the increment operator in C. This is when some more features were added to the language like virtual functions, function name & operator overloading, references, memory allocation using new/free, and two forward slash comments - // to name a few. This was also time when the first standalone compiler for C++ was created named CFront.
The book The C++ Programming Language was released in 1985 which became the language reference since there was no official standard at that time.
Since then, the language has been continuously evolving, most notably in C++11 standard, and has captured interests of many programmers throughout the world. Many educational institutes provide fundamental courses on C and C++ with C++ as the epicenter for the concepts of Object Oriented Programming.
Currently, the latest standard of C++ which has been released is C++17, however most compilers have not implemented the standard as of May 24, 2018. C++14 has been implemented in the various popular compilers like - GNU Compiler Collection (gcc), and clang.