Independent news has never been so important.

Did you know that you can get Democracy Now! delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our Daily News Digest today! Don't worry, we'll never share or sell your information.

Katherine Johnson, Pioneering African-American NASA Mathematician, Dies at 101

HeadlineFeb 25, 2020

Trailblazing African-American mathematician Katherine Johnson died Monday at the age of 101. Johnson played a key role at NASA, where her calculations helped put an American in space for the first time in the 1961 Mercury mission, made John Glenn the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962, and landed Neil Armstrong and Apollo 11 on the moon in 1969. In 2015, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama. The hit 2016 film “Hidden Figures” portrayed the widely unrecognized work of Johnson and other black women at NASA during the space race.

Author Margot Lee Shetterly, who wrote the book “Hidden Figures” that the Hollywood film was based on, paid tribute to Johnson on Twitter, writing, “My life’s honor to tell the story of Katherine Johnson’s contributions to NASA, science, our country, and #HamptonRoads VA. Her brilliance helped us to see and celebrate other #hiddenfigures in history. You changed the narrative… Godspeed, Katherine Johnson.”

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Top