Is Katherine Johnson Still Alive?

Is Katherine Johnson still alive? Yes, the “human computer” is still alive.  Actress, Taraji P. Henson plays Johnson in the film, Hidden Figures.  The movie won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.  During the acceptance speech, Henson paid tribute to Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson.

Hidden Figures tells the story of three African American women that helped change the world.  Johnson was born on August 28, 1918 and is currently 98-years-old.  She graduated from West Virginia State College, summa cum laude, when she was 18-years-old.  She attended graduate school and then became a teacher.  After teaching for a few years, the mathematician landed a job at NASA.
Johnson calculated numerous trajectories throughout her time at NASA.  Her most notable accomplishment was calculating the Apollo 11 flight to the moon.

Is Katherine Johnson Still Alive?
Is Katherine Johnson Still Alive?

Did John Glenn Really Ask Katherine Johnson To Check The Numbers?

Project Mercury happened over 50 years ago.  Some find it difficult to believe the story considering the amount of time that has passed.  Those individuals need a history lesson.  In the 1950s and 60s, many African Americans worked at NASA under Jim Crow laws.  

John Glenn asked for Johnson to double-check the calculations for Project Mercury.  The calculations were computer generated but the only computers Glenn trusted was Katherine Johnson, the “human computer.”


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Jason J.

Jason J. is based in the Maryland and covers Empire BBK’s News and Entertainment. He was previously a producer for the mobile site, helping to present Empire BBK’s news report to readers.