February 24, 2020
Photo by Eddy Chen/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images
Mathematician Katherine Johnson, known for Taraji P. Henson‘s portrayal of her in Hidden Figures has died. She was 101.
We're saddened by the passing of celebrated #HiddenFigures mathematician Katherine Johnson. Today, we celebrate her 101 years of life and honor her legacy of excellence that broke down racial and social barriers: https://t.co/Tl3tsHAfYB pic.twitter.com/dGiGmEVvAW
— NASA (@NASA) February 24, 2020
Johnson famously “calculated the precise trajectories that would let Apollo 11 land on the moon in 1969 and, after Neil Armstrong’s history-making moonwalk.” In 2015, President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, proclaiming, “Katherine G. Johnson refused to be limited by society’s expectations of her gender and race while expanding the boundaries of humanity’s reach.”
But the honors didn’t stop there. In 2017, NASA dedicated a building in her honor, the Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility, at its Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Take a look back at this moment in 2016 when Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae celebrated the life and legacy of Mrs. Johnson.
What a life! Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.