Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician and 'Hidden Figures' Inspiration, Dies at 101
NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson Dies at Age 101
- Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who worked for space agency NASA, died on February 2020.
- She was portrayed by actress Taraji P. Henson in the 2016 film Hidden Figures.
- She helped put the first man, Neil Armstrong, on the Moon with her calculations in 1969.
Katherine Johnson, a NASA mathematician who was portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in the 2016 drama history film, Hidden Figures, has died, NASA has confirmed. She was 101.
The space agency told media that Johnson passed away on February 24, 2020, Newport News, Virginia. No cause of death has been disclosed.
We're saddened by the passing of celebrated #HiddenFigures mathematician Katherine Johnson. Today, we celebrate her 101 years of life and honor her legacy of excellence that broke down racial and social barriers: https://t.co/Tl3tsHAfYB pic.twitter.com/dGiGmEVvAW
— NASA (@NASA) February 24, 2020
Her calculations helped put the first man, Neil Armstrong, on the Moon in 1969. She mostly gained fame after Taraji P. Henson portrayed her role in the 2016 Oscar Award-nominated film, Hidden Figures.
The movie, which tells the stories of three black women who worked at NASA, is about pioneering black female aerospace workers who worked in a racially segregated computing unit which is now called Langley Research Center.
Johnson was one of the so-called computers who calculated rocket trajectories and earth orbits by hand during NASA’s early years.
At the age of 97, Johnson was awarded by the Presidential Medal of Freedom which is the nation’s highest civilian honor.
She is survived by three daughters Katherine Goble Moore, Constance Goble and Joylette Goble who she shared with her ex-husband James Francis Goble (1939-1956).
Rest in Peace Katherine Johnson!