Admiral Inman was born in Rhonesboro, Texas, in 1931. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1950, and entered the U.S. Naval Reserve the following year. During the next thirty years he held a variety of intelligence related assignments, including Fleet Intelligence Officer for the Seventh Fleet during the Vietnam conflict (1969-71), Director of Naval Intelligence (1974-76), Vice Director, Plans, Operations and Suport for the Defense Intelligence Agency (1976-77), Director of the National Security Agency (1977-81), and Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (1981-82). During this last assignment he was promoted to the rank of Admiral, the first naval intelligence specialist to attain 4-star rank. He retired with the rank of Admiral in 1982, and in 1983 was appointed President of Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC).