55 Katherine Johnson Quotes From NASA Mathematician

Get inspired by these Katherine Johnson quotes and sayings that reflect her strong belief in gender equality, racism, and the lasting value of STEM.

Katherine Johnson (1918 – 2020), was an influential American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics were integral to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights.

Her work at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) included calculating trajectories, launch windows, and emergency return paths for several missions.

And her extraordinary contributions to space science were recognized with several awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which she received from President Barack Obama in 2015.

Her story, along with those of other African-American women at NASA, was portrayed in the 2016 film “Hidden Figures.”

She also played an important role in the Apollo Moon landing program and the start of the Space Shuttle program, calculating trajectories for both missions.

Moreover, Katherine Johnson’s life serves as an inspiration for many, particularly for women and people of color in STEM fields. Here are a few of her memorable quotes and wise words;

Top 10 Katherine Johnson Quotes

  1. “Like what you do, and then you will do your best.” – Katherine Johnson                                                            katherine johnson quotes
  2. “Once you took the first step, anything was possible.” – Katherine Johnson                                                          katherine johnson famous quotes
  3. “I felt most proud on the success of the Apollo mission.” – Katherine Johnson
  4. “I was just excited to have challenging work to do and smart people to work with.” – Katherine Johnson
  5. “I don’t have a feeling of inferiority. Never had. I’m as good as anybody, but no better.” – Katherine Johnson                                                                                                                                                          quotes from katherine johnson
  6. “Girls are capable of doing everything men are capable of doing. Sometimes they have more imagination than men.” – Katherine Johnson                                                                                                              quotes by katherine johnson
  7. “We had to determine so much. Where you were, where the Moon would be and how fast the astronauts were going.” – Katherine Johnson
  8. “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                                                                                              Inspirational Katherine Johnson Quotes
  9. “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
  10. “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. I had to be.” – Katherine Johnson

Best Katherine Johnson Quotes

  1. “I liked working with smart people.” – Katherine Johnson
  2. “Men don’t pay attention to small things.” – Katherine Johnson
  3. “I like to learn. That’s an art and a science.” – Katherine Johnson                                                                    best Katherine Johnson Quotes
  4. “You lose your curiosity when you stop learning.” – Katherine Johnson
  5. “I’m always interested in learning something new.” – Katherine Johnson
  6. “If you attack the problem right, you’ll get the answer.” – Katherine Johnson                                                          Katherine Johnson Quotes images
  7. “We always worked as a team. It’s never just one person.” – Katherine Johnson
  8. “We were the pioneers of the space era. You had to read Aviation Week to find out what you’d done.” – Katherine Johnson
  9. “Our teachers made such a difference – all my teachers and professors were very supportive and nurturing.” – Katherine Johnson
  10. “I think it’s important that you learn the background of what you’re working on and how to do it, and you’ll get the right answer.” – Katherine Johnson
  11. “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
  12. “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
  13. “I was excited at something new, always liked something new, but give credit to everybody who helped. I didn’t do anything alone but try to go to the root of the question and succeeded there.” – Katherine Johnson
  14. “The main thing is I liked what I was doing, I liked work. I liked the stars and stories we were telling, and it was a joy to contribute to the literature work that was going to be coming out. But little did I think it would go this far.” – Katherine Johnson
  15. “Follow your passion. Whatever you’re doing, do your best at all times and make it as correct as possible. Work as if someone is watching you. Then you’ll be prepared when an opportunity presents itself. And you’ll have the answers.” – Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson Quotes About Mathematics

  1. “Everything is physics and math.” – Katherine Johnson
  2. “In math, you’re either right or you’re wrong.” – Katherine Johnson
  3. “I like to work problems. If you do your best, nobody can ask you to do it over again. I never had to repeat what I did.” – Katherine Johnson
  4. “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
  5. “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

Famous Quotes From Katherine Johnson

  1. “I’d do anything for anyone.” – Katherine Johnson
  2. “I believed I was where I was supposed to be.” – Katherine Johnson
  3. “There’s nothing to it; I was just doing my job.” – Katherine Johnson
  4. “You should always be interested in something.” – Katherine Johnson
  5. “I’m just lucky — the Lord likes me and I like him.” – Katherine Johnson
  6. “There has been a lifeguard shortage for a while, so it’s good that young people are into it.” – Katherine Johnson
  7. “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
  8. “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
  9. “John Glenn’s life will long be remembered for his time in space, his courage, and his service to all Americans.” – Katherine Johnson
  10. “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.” – Katherine Johnson
  11. “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
  12. “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
  13. “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.” – Katherine Johnson
  14. “All jobs are important to somebody. They had to be important to somebody. My theory is, do the best you can all the time. No fooling around.” – Katherine Johnson
  15. “We put in some long hours at times, and I had three children at home. But they were very responsible, and I had family and friends who helped look after them.” – Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson Quotes On Education

  1. “Know how to learn. Then, want to learn.” – Katherine Johnson
  2. “I had a very, very interesting childhood, but, oh my, education was the primary focus in our family.” – Katherine Johnson
  3. “My colleagues and I were committed to the work. We found different ways to deal with the segregation.” – Katherine Johnson
  4. “Many professors tell you that you’d be good at this or that, but they don’t always help you with that career path.” – Katherine Johnson
  5. “They needed information and I had it, and it didn’t matter that I found it. At the time, it was just a question and an answer.” – Katherine Johnson
  6. “Take all the courses in your curriculum. Do the research. Ask questions. Find someone doing what you are interested in! Be curious!” – Katherine Johnson
  7. “Girls, some of them are reluctant to ask questions. But if you want to know, you ask the question. There’s no such thing as a dumb question. It’s dumb if you don’t ask it.” – Katherine Johnson
  8. “I was excited at something new, always liked something new, but give credit to everybody who helped. I didn’t do anything alone but try to go to the root of the question and succeeded there.” – Katherine Johnson
  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
  10. “I entered college; I was 15. I was going to be a math teacher because that was it. You could be a math teacher or a nurse, but I was told I would make a good research mathematician and they had me take all of the courses in the catalog.” – Katherine Johnson

Top facts about Katherine Johnson, the brilliant NASA mathematician:

  1. Early Education: Katherine Johnson was a child prodigy. She graduated from high school at the age of 14 and college at 18 with degrees in Mathematics and French.
  2. Career Start: Before joining NASA, she worked as a school teacher. Later, she was one of the first African-American women to work at NASA.
  3. Long Service: Johnson worked at NASA for 33 years before retiring in 1986.
  4. Pioneering Status: She was one of the first African-American women to work at NASA, paving the way for other women and people of color in the field of space science.
  5. Building Dedication: In 2016, a new 40,000-square-foot building at the Langley Research Center was named the Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility in her honor.
  6. Presidential Medal: In 2015, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, one of the highest civilian awards in the United States.
  7. Legacy: Her work has inspired countless people, especially women and people of color, to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Her legacy continues to thrive in these communities


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