Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson is an American mathematician who is known for her contributions to the U.S. space program. Her calculations and analysis have helped astronauts go to the Moon and chart many flight paths. She worked for NASA for over three decades, during which her pioneering calculations helped establish the organization’s credibility. As a child, Johnson’s acumen was apparent as she was great with numbers. She graduated with the highest honors and earned a degree in mathematics. She began working for NACA, NASA’s predecessor, and worked with other women in the West Computers division. She analyzed test data and provided mathematical derivations necessary for the space program. She was involved in NASA’s Mercury program, calculated the course of Freedom 7, and calculated and analyzed the launch of Apollo 11. Toward the end of her career, she worked for the space shuttle program. She received several prestigious awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her extraordinary career not only flouted gender and race stereotypes, it also helped America reach some of its greatest landmarks in space. Johnson retired from NASA in 1986. Her life served as an inspiration for the book, ‘Hidden Figures’, which was later turned into a movie.
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
Also Known As
Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson
Place Of Death
Newport News, Virginia, U.S.
West Virginia State University (1937), West Virginia University
Presidential Medal of Freedom Virginia Women in History 100 Women (BBC)
Colonel James A. Johnson, James Francis Goble (m. 1939–1956)
Constance Goble, Joylette Goble, Katherine Goble