The Life of Katherine Johnson

By Arlena
  • The birth of Katherine Johnson

    The birth of Katherine Johnson
    Katherine Johnson was born in Sulphur,West Virginia. she was the youngest of four children
  • Attending High School at West Virginia College

    Attending High School at West Virginia College
    Johnson showed mathematical abilities at an early age. At 10 she attended a high school on the campus of West Virginia College.
  • Graduating from High School

    Graduating from High School
    Katherine graduated from high school at the age 14.
  • Graduating from West Virginia State

    Graduating from West Virginia State
    Johnson graduated from West Virginia State at 18 with the highest honors
  • Teaching in Marion,Virginia

    Teaching in Marion,Virginia
    After graduating from college she took a teaching job at a black public school in Marion,Virginia
  • James Global

    James Global
    Katherine married her first husband James Global
  • Math Program

    Math Program
    Katherine left her teaching job and enrolled in a graduate math program she was one of the first African-American woman to attend a graduate school at West Virginia University in Morgantown
  • Family

    After one year Johnson quit the program after she became pregnant to focus more on her family.
  • Returning

    She returned to teaching after her three daughters got older
  • Fun Fact

    Fun Fact
    NASA rejected her the first time she applied.
  • NACA

    In 1952 a relative told her about an opening position at the all-black West Area Computing section at the NACA’s Langley laboratory headed by Dorothy Vaughn.
  • Moving(Working at Langley)

    Moving(Working at Langley)
    Katherine and her husband decided to move their family to Newport News to pursue the opportunity, she began working at Langley in the summer of 1953
  • Maneuver Loads Branch of the Flight Research

    Maneuver Loads Branch of the Flight Research
    This position for Katherine became permanent.She spent the next four years analyzing data from the flight test and worked on a investigation on a plane crash caused by wake turbulence.
  • Death of James Goble

    Death of James Goble
    As she was wrapping up her project her husband James Globle died of cancer.
  • James Johnson

    James Johnson
    Katherine remarried to her second husband James Johnson in 1959
  • Determination of Azimuth Angle

    Determination of Azimuth Angle
    Katherine and Ted Skopinski coauthored “Determination of Azimuth Angle at Burnout for Placing a Satellite Over a Selected Earth Position”.It was the first time a woman of the Flight Research Division had received credit as an author of a research report.
  • John Glenn

    John Glenn
    NASA prepared for the orbital mission of John Glenn, Katherine Johnson was called upon to do the work she was most known for. Glenn’s flight was an success.
  • Fun Fact

    Fun Fact
    She helped send the first men to the moon.
  • Retiring

    She retired in 1986 after thirty three years of working at Langley.
  • Presidential Metal of Freedom

    Presidential Metal of Freedom
    President Obama awarded her with Presidential Metal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor.