HAMPTON, Va. (WEHT) — Katherine Johnson, a Hampton Roads and American icon featured in the movie “Hidden Figures,” has died at age 101, NASA announced Monday.
“Our @NASA family is sad to learn the news that Katherine Johnson passed away this morning at 101 years old,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted Monday morning. “She was an American hero and her pioneering legacy will never be forgotten.”
The groundbreaking African-American mathematician worked on complex space missions as a “human computer” for NASA Langley in Hampton, including calculating the trajectories for Alan Shepard’s history-making journey in space, and giving the “go-ahead” for John Glenn’s mission into orbit.
The West Virginia native was often overlooked until the 2016 movie “Hidden Figures,” which also highlighted the work and challenges Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and Dr. Christine Darden faced while working at Langley.
In March 2018, our sister station WAVY talked with Johnson about here work at NASA. Here is that story:
(This story was originally published on February 24, 2020)