Katherine Johnson, the NASA mathematician who was depicted in the film “Hidden Figures,” died Monday, NASA said in a tweet. She was 101. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a statement: “Ms. Johnson helped our nation enlarge the frontiers of space even as she made huge strides that also opened doors for women and people of color in the universal human quest to explore space. At NASA we will never forget her courage and leadership and the milestones we could not have reached without her.”
In recent years, Johnson’s accomplishments were bolstered by the visibility of the film starring Taraji P. Henson, playing Johnson, and Octavia Spencer. Most recently, NASA renamed a building in West Virginia — her home state — after her in 2019 at the urging of a congressional bill signed into law by President Donald Trump. President Barack Obama awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest honor for civilians, in 2015.
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