Katherine Coleman Johnson

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Katherine Coleman Johnson was born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia on August 26, 1918. She is the daughter of Joshua and Joylette Coleman, and is the youngest of four children. Her father was a lumberman, farmer and a handyman who worked at the Greenbrier Hotel. Her mother was a former school teacher. Katherine showed talent for math at a very young age, as she was enrolled to high school at the age of 10. The county of Greenbrier did not offer public high school schooling for African Americans so her parents made arrangements so she could attend a school in Institute, West Virginia. She then graduated from high school at the age of 14 and was enrolled into the West Virginia State College. As a student she took every math class that the college offered, they even had to create some more for her. She then graduated from…show more content…
I chose to do my paper of Katherine Johnson because of the new movie, Hidden Figures. I went to watch it and I found myself really interested in her life story and what she accomplished. Another thing that really persuaded me to choose her was that I had never heard of her until the movie came out. This really surprised and upset me because what she did was incredible, and should be known. Everyone knows about the Apollo 11 flight and John Glenn, but no one knows about who was behind the calculations of it all. Without her and the work of many other mathematicians the mission would have never happened. John Glenn trusted Katherine with his life, as her calculations had to perfect for him to come back alive and the mission to be successful. I also thought about what would have happened if Katherine never went to work at NASA. She was the only one out of all of the people working there that knew how to do the complex equations that were needed. Without her our nation would have been way behind on our knowledge of space than we are now, as well as the desegregation process. Our country would have been very different without Katherine

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