Enlarge / Katherine Johnson sits at her desk with a globe, or "Celestial Training Device." (credit: NASA)
Katherine Johnson, a trailblazing mathematician best known for her contributions to NASA's human spaceflight program and who gained fame later in life due to the movie Hidden Figures, died Monday. She was 101 years old.
"At NASA, we will never forget her courage and leadership and the milestones we could not have reached without her," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "We will continue building on her legacy and work tirelessly to increase opportunities for everyone who has something to contribute toward the ongoing work of raising the bar of human potential."
Born in rural West Virginia on August 26, 1918, Johnson showed an aptitude for mathematics early in life. “I counted everything," she said late in life of her formative years. "I counted the steps to the road, the steps up to church, the number of dishes and silverware I washed… anything that could be counted, I did."
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