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Remembering Pioneering NASA Mathematician and Former Hidden Figure, Katherine Johnson

Remembering Pioneering NASA Mathematician and Former Hidden Figure, Katherine Johnson

She is the definition of a life well lived!

Katherine Johnson, the pioneering NASA mathematician and American icon depicted in the “Hidden Figures” movie, has passed away, NBC News reports. 

Johnson’s story first came to light on the big screen with the 2016 blockbuster hit, Hidden Figures. The movie told the story of the Black women responsible for the work at NASA that was critical during the Space Race, with Taraji P. Henson playing the role of Johnson. 

The movie boosted Johnson’s profile, and so many sought to honor her and the other women for their accomplishments. The women received Congressional gold medals and Johnson received a number of recognitions including a facility named in her honor, a statue at her alma mater, several NASA buildings renamed after her, and a Barbie doll crafted in her likeness. Johnson also released an autobiography and served as the 2017 commencement speaker at Hampton University

Johnson said she “never worried about what people thought of [her] or what they believed [her] limitations were because of [her] color or [her] gender.” When she released her autobiography, Johnson issued a statement about what she wanted people to take away from her life and her story. 

“I want young people to feel the same way when reading my story. I want them to see that it doesn’t matter where you came from, what you look like or what your gender is. You’re no better or worse than anyone out there and there’s nothing you can’t do as long as you put your mind to it. You can be a doctor or a lawyer or even help put a person on the moon,” Johnson said.

Katherine Johnson’s hard work will never be forgotten. She was 101 years old. 

Because of her!

Photo Courtesy of Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP