Home National News Katherine Johnson, Pioneering “Hidden Figures” NASA Mathematician, Dies At 101

Katherine Johnson, Pioneering “Hidden Figures” NASA Mathematician, Dies At 101

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Katherine G. Johnson Photo by David C. Bowman/NASA

Katherine G. Johnson, the human computer behind some of NASA’s biggest advancements and one of the real-life inspirations behind the critically-acclaimed movie Hidden Figures, died Monday, according to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. She was 101.

Hidden Figures told the story of three African-American women who broke barriers at NASA. Johnson, along with Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, shattered the segregational norms within the agency in the 1960s to push forward some of the country’s greatest aerospace advancements.

In 2015, Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work as a trailblazer in the space program. In 2017, she was honored by NASA with a new research building: the Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility.