Just In: NASA Mathematician Depicted In ‘Hidden Figures’, Katherine Johnson, Dies At 101

Just In_ NASA Mathematician Depicted In 'Hidden Figures', Katherine Johnson, Dies At 101

  • Katherine Johnson, NASA trailblazer and mathematician, dies at age 101.
  • She was most notable for her integral work with NASA. Johnson would end up being depicted in the 2016 film ‘Hidden Figures.’
  • She leaves behind an outstanding legacy.


It has sadly been reported that Katherine Johnson, who was a NASA mathematician depicted in the film Hidden Figures, has died at age 101. In light of the news, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine writes on Twitter that Johnson “was an American hero and her pioneering legacy will never be forgotten.”

Johnson was portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in Hidden Figures, a 2016 film about black women whose integral work at NASA became notable during the Space Race. The film also stars actors Octavia Spencer as mathematician Dorothy Vaughan and Janelle Monáe as engineer Mary Jackson.


Remembering Katherine Johnson and her incredible legacy

katherine johnson dead
Katherine Johnson in 1966 / NASA/Donaldson Collection/Getty Images

Johnson would begin working as NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics’ in 1953. While there, she would perform trajectory analysis for Alan Shepard’s 1961 mission Freedom 7. This would wind up being America’s first human spaceflight.

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Furthermore, Johnson was the first woman in the Flight Research Division to receive credit as an author of a research report. In the report, she performed work with Ted Skopinski on describing an orbital spaceflight.

A trailblazer for black women in NASA

katherine johnson dead
Katherine Johnson at the Oscars with ‘Hidden Figures’ stars / Kevin Winter/Getty Images

NASA reports that “when asked to name her greatest contribution to space exploration, Katherine Johnson talks about the calculations that helped synch Project Apollo’s Lunar Lander with the moon-orbiting Command and Service Module.”

Rest in peace to the incredible and trailblazing woman herself, Katherine Johnson. May she rest in peace.

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