Grace Hopper: Admiral of the Cyber Sea

Naval Institute Press
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When grace Hooper 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 Hoper 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 Hooper's entire naval career, from the time she joined the Waves and was sent in 1943 to work on the Mark 1 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, Hooper 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 computer-programming 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 colleague 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 inWorld War II to the late 1980s.
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About the author

Kathleen Broome Williams, a graduate of Wellesley College and Columbia University, holds a Ph.D. from City University of New York. She is the author of Grace Hopper: Admiral of the Cyber Sea, a North American Society for Oceanic History award winner, 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, which won a History of Science Society book award. Currently, she is a professor of history at Cogswell Polytechnical College in Sunnyvale, California, and lives in Oakland, CA.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Naval Institute Press
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Published on
Nov 10, 2012
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Pages
280
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ISBN
9781612512655
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Naval
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Maj. Roger G. B. Broome, USMCR, died from wounds received on Saipan before his daughter had a chance to know him. Now a well-known naval historian and author of award-winning books, that daughter, Kathleen Broome Williams, has turned the research skills she honed studying naval technology to find her lost father. For this biography, she makes full use of an extensive collection of her father’s colorful and articulate letters along with the testimony of surviving Leathernecks who served with Major Broome, backed up by official records.

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