"When Grace Hopper retired from the U.S. Navy as a rear admiral in 1986 at the age of seventy-nine, she was the oldest serving officer in all the armed forces. A mathematician by training and a pioneer in computer science, the eccentric and outspoken Hopper helped propel the navy into the computer age. She was also a superb publicist for the navy, always ready with a good quote for reporters. Yet in spite of her high profile and the fact that she was the first woman to reach flag rank as a restricted-line officer, "Amazing Grace," as she was called, has not been the subject of a full biography until now." "In this book Kathleen Broome Williams looks at Hopper's entire naval career, starting with the time she joined the WAVES and was then sent to work on the Mark I computer at Harvard. There she became one of the country's first computer programmers, creating firing tables for naval ordnance. Thanks to this early introduction to computing, Hopper enjoyed a distinguished civilian career in commercial computing after the war, gaining fame for her part in the creation of COBOL (common business oriented language)." "In 1967, already past retirement age, Hopper was recalled to active duty at the Pentagon to standardize computer-programming languages for navy computers. That temporary appointment lasted for nineteen years while she standardized COBOL for the entire department of defense." "Based on extensive interviews with Admiral Hopper's colleagues and family as well as archival material never before examined, this biography not only illuminates Hopper's early accomplishments in a field that came to be dominated by men, but also provides an overview of computing from its beginnings in World War II through the late 1980s."--BOOK JACKET.