Grace Hopper: Admiral of the Cyber Sea

Overview


When Grace Hopper retired as a rear admiral from the U.S. Navy in 1986, she was the first woman restricted line officer to reach flag rank and, at the age of seventy-nine, the oldest serving officer in the Navy. A mathematician by training who became a computer scientist, the eccentric and outspoken Hopper helped propel the Navy into the computer age. She also was a superb publicist for the Navy, appearing frequently on radio and television and quoted regularly in newspapers and magazines. Yet in spite of all ...
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Grace Hopper: Admiral of the Cyber Sea

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Overview


When Grace Hopper retired as a rear admiral from the U.S. Navy in 1986, she was the first woman restricted line officer to reach flag rank and, at the age of seventy-nine, the oldest serving officer in the Navy. A mathematician by training who became a computer scientist, the eccentric and outspoken Hopper helped propel the Navy into the computer age. She also was a superb publicist for the Navy, appearing frequently on radio and television and quoted regularly in newspapers and magazines. Yet in spite of all the attention she received, until now "Amazing Grace," as she was called, has never been the subject of a full biography.

Kathleen Broome Williams looks at Hopper's entire naval career, from the time she joined the WAVES and was sent in 1943 to work on the Mark I computer at Harvard, where she became one of the country's first computer programmers. Thanks to this early Navy introduction to computing, the author explains, Hopper had a distinguished civilian career in commercial computing after the war, gaining fame for her part in the creation of COBOL.

The admiral's Navy days were far from over, however, and Williams tells how Hopper--already past retirement age--was recalled to active duty at the Pentagon in 1967 to standardize computerprogramming languages for Navy computers. Her temporary appointment lasted for nineteen years while she standardized COBOL for the entire department of defense. Based on extensive interviews with colleagues and family and on archival material never before examined, this biography not only illuminates Hopper's pioneering accomplishments in a field that came to be dominated by men, but provides a fascinating overview of computing from its beginnings in World War II to the late 1980s.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591149781
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 1/15/2013
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 715,214
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Kathleen Broome Williams has taught history at Bronx Community College and the City University of New York Graduate Center. She is the author of Secret Weapon: U.S. High-Frequency Direction Finding in the Battle of the Atlantic and Improbable Warriors: Women Scientists and the U.S. Navy in World War II.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2006

    Amazing Grace

    She was Amazing in real Life and inspirational in this book. I met her twice when I was a young COBOL programmer for the Navy and this book really does her justice for all she did for the Navy and computer sciences. Her life story should be a movie that would get more young women into the sciences. I really admire her zeal for life and science. Would have loved to work for her even for a few weeks. Great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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