By Leah Tuckwiller
Yesterday, August 27, marked the 100th birthday of Katherine Coleman Johnson, one of the key mathematical minds behind getting American astronauts to space in the 1960s and 1970s. Johnson is one of the three women featured in “Hidden Figures” and was born in White Sulphur Springs.
As a child in White Sulphur Springs, it quickly became clear that the Greenbrier County school system – which at the time was still segregated and only allowed African American students to attend school through the eighth grade – was not going to be enough for her. With a love of numbers from her father and a love of education fro her mother, Johnson’s drive to keep learning led the family to Institute, where young Katherine Johnson entered high schoool at West Virginia State College (now West Virginia State University) at age 10 and graduted at 14. After high school, she enrolled at West Virginia State, eventually graduating summa cum laude in 1937 with degrees in mathematics and French.
Read more in the Monday, August 14, edition of The West Virginia Daily News.