FOR ALL AGES

35 Katherine Johnson Quotes From The Famous NASA Mathematician

These quotations will make you realize how good she really was.

Katherine Johnson was one of the first African American women to join NASA and become a prominent scientist.

We have the best quotes from Katherine Johnson, who was a famous mathematician, a physicist who worked with NASA in the United States and also a national role model. She won numerous accolades and awards for her contribution to modern science.

Katherine Johnson was born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia in the United States in 1918. She studied in a high school that was situated in the campus of West Virginia State College and later studied mathematics at the West Virginia State University which was a predominantly African American college. She was one of the first African American women in her graduate school at West Virginia University and decided to become a research mathematician. Women in those days were lesser in numbers in science engineering and technology in the United States but Johnson went on to join NASA, where she earned the name of the "human computer". As a human computer who worked on orbital mechanics, she was involved in a wide array of research activities - calculating emergency return paths of Project Mercury spaceflights, which astronaut John Glenn was also a part of and the Apollo 11 mission. She passed away in February 2020. She was known for being a humble, gracious person and is survived now by two daughters (after the death of her oldest daughter in 2010), six grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren. She was portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in the film "Hidden Figures" (2016).

Also, check out quotes by [Ada Lovelace] and [Alan Turing].

Best Quotes From Katherine Johnson

Maths is loved by students all over the world.

Here are the best quotes from Katherine Johnson, the country's prominent mathematician, physicist and aeronautics expert who was involved in Project Mercury and the Apollo 11 mission.

1. “In math, you're either right or you’re wrong.”

- Katherine Johnson.

2. "Everything is physics and math."

- Katherine Johnson, 2019.

3. "I felt most proud on the success of the Apollo mission."

- Katherine Johnson.

4. "Like what you do, and then you will do your best."

- Katherine, Interview at Nasa, 1966.

5. "We were the pioneers of the space era. You had to read Aviation Week to find out what you’d done."

- Katherine Johnson, Interview with The Daily Press, 1990.

6. "If you’re prepared and the opportunity comes up, it’s your good fortune to have been in the right place at the right time and to have been prepared for the job."

- Katherine Johnson.

Inspirational Katherine Johnson Quotes For Every Woman

Katherine Johnson is an inspiration to every woman aspiring to be a physicist or a mathematician or an aeronautics specialist. Here are some of her inspirational quotes for women.

7. "Girls are capable of doing everything men are capable of doing. Sometimes they have more imagination than men."

- Speech at the Oscars, 2017.

8. "We needed to be assertive as women in those days – assertive and aggressive – and the degree to which we had to be that way depended on where you were."

- Katherine Johnson, 1999.

9. "The women did what they were told to do. They didn’t ask questions or take the task any further. I asked questions; I wanted to know why. They got used to me asking questions and being the only woman there.”

- Katherine Johnson: A Lifetime of STEM, 2020.

10. "They just said, ‘If she says it’s right, it’s right’ because the guys didn’t do the work. I did it.”

- Katherine Johnson.

Katherine Johnson Quotes About Learning

Here are intelligent quotes from mathematician and physicist Katherine Johnson, who hailed from West Virginia.

11. "You lose your curiosity when you stop learning."

- Katherine Johnson, Interview with the WHRO, 2011.

12. "I always knew how many of everything there were. Things were there and could be counted and accounted for, and so that's what I did."

-  'The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson', 2020.

13. "It's not every day you wake up with a mission in your mind, but I had a mission and I was determined to accomplish it."

- 'The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson', 2020.

14. "I like to learn. That's an art and a science."

- Katherine Johnson.

15. "I see a picture right now that's not parallel, so I'm going to go straighten it. Things must be in order."

- Katherine Johnson: A Lifetime of STEM, 2020.

16. "I found what I was looking for at Langley. This was what a research mathematician did. I went to work every day for 33 years happy. Never did I get up and say I don't want to go to work."

- Katherine Johnson, 2008.

17. "I didn't want anything to happen and it didn't."

- Katherine Johnson, Interview with NASA (She Was a Computer When Computers Wore Skirts), 2008.

18. "You had a mission and you worked on it. And it was important to you to do your job. And play bridge at lunch."

- Katherine Johnson, Interview with the WHRO, 2011.

19. "I finished the report and my name went on it, and that was the first time a woman in our division had her name on something."

- Katherine Johnson, Black Women Scientists in the United States, 1999.

20. "If you attack the problem right, you'll get the answer."

- Katherine Johnson, 2011.

Katherine Johnson Inspirational Quotes

Katherine Johnson, from White Sulphur Springs, was one of the first black women to graduate from West Virginia University and then join a career in science and technology. Here are inspirational Katherine Johnson quotes.

21. "I don't have a feeling of inferiority. Never had. I'm as good as anybody, but no better."

- NASA Statements on Katherine Johnson’s Medal of Freedom, 2015.

22. "I counted everything. I counted the steps to the road, the steps up to church, the number of dishes and silverware I washed... anything that could be counted, I did."

- Katherine Johnson: The Girl Who Loved to Count, 2015.

23. "Go see 'Hidden Figures,' and take a young person! It will give a more positive outlook on what is possible if you work hard, do your best, and are prepared."

- Katherine Johnson, 2017.

24. "I was excited at something new, always liked something new, but give credit to everybody who helped."

- Katherine Johnson, 2017.

Katherine Johnson Quotes On Research

As an African American woman who was a research scientist, Johnson had a lot of insights to offer on research.

25. "Take all the courses in your curriculum. Do the research. Ask questions. Find someone doing what you are interested in! Be curious!"

- Katherine Johnson.

26. "We will always have STEM with us. Some things will drop out of the public eye and will go away, but there will always be science, engineering, and technology. And there will always, always be mathematics."

- Katherine Johnson: A Lifetime of STEM, 2020.

27. "Everything was so new – the whole idea of going into space was new and daring. There were no textbooks, so we had to write them.”

- Katherine Johnson, Black Women Scientists in the United States, 1999.

28. "Let me do it. You tell me when you want it and where you want it to land, and I'll do it backwards and tell you when to take off."

- Katherine Johnson, Interview with NASA (She Was a Computer When Computers Wore Skirts), 2008.

29. "If you want to know you ask a question. There's no such thing as a dumb question, it's dumb if you don't ask it."

- Katherine Johnson

Important Quotes By Katherine Johnson

Maths have made advancements in many fields.

Here are other important sayings by one of the only women involved in Project Mercury and the Apollo 11 mission.

30. "I was always around people who were learning something. I liked to learn."

- Katherine Johnson, Interview with the WHRO, 2011.

31. "Our teachers made such a difference - all my teachers and professors were very supportive and nurturing."

- Katherine Johnson.

32. "Men don't pay attention to small things."

- Katherine Johnson, Presidential Medal of Freedom speech, 2015.

33. "I didn't do anything alone but try to go to the root of the question and succeeded there."

- Katherine Johnson.

34. "I had a very, very interesting childhood, but, oh my, education was the primary focus in our family."

- Katherine Johnson.

35. "Everybody was concerned about them getting there. We were concerned about them getting back."

- Katherine Johnson on the Apollo 13 mission in an interview, 2010.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Katherine Johnson quotes then why not take a look at [Women supporting women quotes], or [Academic quotes].

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The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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