A pioneer in the space industry, Johnson witnessed and played a critical role in some of the most historic moments of American space flight. Katherine Johnson was born in 1918, to a poor family in West Virginia. Her father was a farmer and worked extra jobs as a janitor and her mother was a teacher. Even though he quit school after the sixth grade, he considered education of paramount importance.
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Katherine Johnson talks about Langley’s quota for black female mathematicians and how she waited for a job opening.