Human Computer Katherine Johnson Is A Living Legacy
Katherine Johnson has been dubbed the human computer. Her work at NASA Langley Research Center produced the calculations responsible for sending countless men back and forth to space. You might think that at 100 years old, Johnson would be living a low key life of retirement. But this lively hero isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
A Living Legacy
Margot Lee Shetterly’s book and film adaptation, Hidden Figures, finally skyrocketed Johnson and her former colleagues into the spotlight for their work at NASA. The Oscar-nominated film told the story of African American women with genius level math and science skills, who conducted vital calculations for NASA during the 1950s and ‘60s.
But Johnson wasn’t just smashing race and gender ceilings at a time of oppression. She was also making groundbreaking space travel possible without the use of computers.
Her Busy Life Today
Some might think after her accomplishments at NASA, Johnson would be taking it easy but her daily life is still incredibly full. Although Johnson has lost some hearing, she still enjoys playing board games and bridge with visitors, family, and her second husband of 59 years at their retirement community in Newport News. According to her daughter Joylette, because of her parents’ hearing loss, communication between them isn’t always possible. But after 59 years, they haven’t lost their spark. The two share a nightly fist bump every day to say goodnight.
Johnson received countless letters asking her questions about her life, her work, and notifying her of new buildings and classrooms being named in her honor. She is frequently asked to attend ceremonies, give interviews, and visit with inspired students.
No Signs Of Slowing Down
Her daughters, 78-year-old Joylette Hylick and 74-year-old Katherine Moore, manage her schedule, help her answer letters, and keep her travel engagements. When asked to see visitors or travel to ceremonies, she is still very much up to the task. West Virginia State University unveiled a statue of her likeness and awarded a scholarship in her name for her 100th birthday.
Johnson remains incredibly humble and speaks of her NASA colleagues, who have since passed, with great adoration and respect. Johnson says she still tries to try to learn something new every day as advised by her father. When The Daily Press asked of her plans for the future, Johnson replied simply. “Just to live,” she said. “Just to stay living.”
More in Innovation
Tired Of Depressing News? Here Are 5 Good Things That Happened In 2018
The year 2018 just ended and now is a great time to look back on how things went. While it can...January 14, 2019
Five Innovations From 2018 That Make Life Better On Our Planet
The year is winding down and the New Year’s Eve ball is almost ready to drop in Times Square. Now is...January 5, 2019
These Heart-Shaped Islands Are The Perfect Destination For Any Travel Lover
It’s never too early to start planning for Valentine’s Day. Croatia. Argentina. New York City. Around the world, there are beautiful...December 28, 2018
Woman Transforms Collection Of Shipping Containers Into Trendy Dream Home
Before creating sustainable homes from eco-friendly materials was trending, one Canadian woman was forward-thinking enough to break ground and build her...December 28, 2018
‘Guaranteed to Blow Your Mind’: Watch These Floppy Disks Play Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Like A Pro
Didn’t think it could be done? Floppy drives can indeed be used to create music. While anyone might be surprised, YouTube...December 16, 2018
These Revolutionary Inventions That Are Now On The Market Prove The Future Is Here
The human mind is an amazing thing, especially when it’s working to make our lives easier. From useful tools to make...December 12, 2018
Expect Your Instagram Profile To Look A Little Different With These Coming Upgrades
Attention, Instagram devotees! Your profile page is going to look a little different. Now, nobody panic. These are minor changes. Throughout...December 9, 2018
Cleaning The Oceans May Have Just Become Easier With This Robot-Shark That Preys On Aquatic Waste
Plastic pollution in oceans, lakes, and rivers is no laughing matter. One Dutch company has created a drone to help reduce...November 11, 2018
Snapchat Takes On New Territory With Desktop Filter App, Snap Camera
Snapchat is known for its exciting and detailed filters that users love. Now the popular app is bringing those filters right...November 9, 2018