Katherine Johnson was a talented mathematician in a field dominated by white men.
After graduating high school at the age of 15 in the midst of the Great Depression, she earned a full scholarship to West Virginia State Institute's math department. Johnson briefly taught high school and then in 1940 was one of the first Black graduate students chosen to integrate West Virginia University.
In 1953 she began work as a research mathematician for what would become NASA. Katherine Johnson shattered barriers for all women, but particularly for Black women, earning the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.
To celebrate the inspirational life of Katherine Johnson, check out the resources below or explore NASA's website. Learn about her and other amazing barrier-breaking mathematicians and scientists.