Katherine Johnson–retired NASA mathematician finds fame

Katherine Johnson
nasa.gov

If you’ve seen the movie “Hidden Figures,” you know about Katherine Johnson. Below is a recent article written about Katherine’s new found fame.

Katherine Johnson, a black NASA pioneer, finds acclaim at 98

by Victoria St. Martin, The Washington Post

January 29, 2017

“Fame has finally found Katherine Johnson — and it only took 98 years, six manned moon landings, a best-selling book and an Oscar-nominated movie.

For more than 30 years, Johnson worked as a NASA mathematician at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, where she played an unseen but pivotal role in the country’s space missions. That she was an African-American woman in an almost all-male and white workforce made her career even more remarkable.

Now, three decades after retiring from the agency, Johnson is portrayed by actress Taraji Henson in ‘Hidden Figures,’ a film based on a book of the same name. The movie tells how a group of black women — world-class mathematicians all — helped provide NASA with data crucial to the success of the agency’s early spaceflights. ‘Hidden Figures’ was nominated Tuesday for an Academy Award for best picture.

Suddenly Johnson, who will turn 99 in August, finds herself inundated with interview requests, award banquet invitations and people who just want to stop by and shake her hand.

…For many people, especially African-Americans, her tale of overcoming racism and sexism is inspirational.”

Read more about Katherine Johnson

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