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Katherine Johnson: Biography

Katherine JohnsonKatherine Johnson (August 26, 1918 - February 24, 2020)

Born in 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, Virginia, Johnson loved numbers as a child. She started college at West Virginia State University at age 15 and blew through the school catalog's listed courses; her professor created new ones just for her. By 18, she had graduated summa cum laude with degrees in math and French. But career paths for black women were stark in the 1940s, even with a mind as sharp as Johnson's. She taught school for more than a decade before joining the space race as one of the women, black and white, whom NASA (and its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, or NACA) hired as "computers"— people to do the math that kept NASA running. Continue . . .

Source: Haynes, Korey. “Fighting FOR Visibility.” Astronomy, vol. 45, no. 2, Feb. 2017, p. 44.  From Academic Search Complete database.

Book Collection

Hidden Figures: the American dream and the untold story of the Black women mathematicians who helped win the space race
Counting on Katherine
Hidden Figures: the true story of four black women and the space race


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