After news that Katherine Johnson, one of the black mathematicians at NASA whose life was portrayed in the movie “Hidden Figures,” had died at the age of 101, social media users praised her work and legacy.
Former astronaut Scott Kelly called her a “true-life hero” and said her life would “inspire future generations to come.”
Today we lost a true-life hero. Katherine Johnson broke racial and social barriers while working to put us on the moon. #HiddenFigures no more. Her legacy will live on and inspire future generations to come. pic.twitter.com/rvZONZ0eNg— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) February 24, 2020
Twitter exploded with users praising her legacy:
Thank you, Katherine Johnson. 🇺🇸 https://t.co/TzbEP8HUuY— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 24, 2020
Katherine Johnson was a true American hero and pioneer in math and science. Her legacy and incredible achievements in the face of racial and gender discrimination will never be forgotten. https://t.co/Pl8uoBwCO5— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 24, 2020
Katherine Johnson’s life was one of courage and brilliance.
She broke down racial and gender barriers—all while helping take our space program to heights unseen.
Today, we say thank you to Katherine.
My prayers go to her family. May she rest in power.https://t.co/PKkNtyN0sa— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 24, 2020
Katherine Johnson pioneered new frontiers for space exploration & shattered barriers of race and gender, inspiring generations of women & girls to reach for the stars. May it be a comfort to her family that so many mourn with them. https://t.co/Kjtrgve0eT— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 24, 2020
My heart goes out to the loved ones of Katherine Johnson, a brilliant mathematician who inspired little girls – especially Black girls – to reach for the stars. I’m very glad that Congress honored Mrs. Johnson & her contributions to NASA with a Congressional Gold Medal last year. pic.twitter.com/QvUWNrmirv— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) February 24, 2020
Today we celebrate the life of an American hero, Kathrine Johnson. She stared down racism and sexism, and paved the way for more women of color to succeed in math and science — inspiring the next generation to pursue their dreams no matter what obstacles they must face. https://t.co/1YaD4TTUsR— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) February 24, 2020
We've lost an icon and brilliant mathematician with the passing of Katherine Johnson.
A barrier breaker and inspiration for women of color everywhere, Katherine's legendary work with NASA will forever leave a mark on our history. My heart goes out to her family and loved ones. https://t.co/rc0qOHOZWZ— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) February 24, 2020
If Katherine Johnson had let racial and gender barriers stop her, we may have never made it to the moon.
She lived in power. May she now rest in power. ✊🏽♀️https://t.co/imoq4mbuh0— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 24, 2020
Without Katherine Johnson's trailblazing genius, Americans nationwide wouldn't have seen our country do the seemingly impossible. Johnson's legacy and example will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with her family and loved ones. https://t.co/JwtjnKiYJa— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) February 24, 2020
Katherine Johnson is an American hero who broke down barriers for women of color at @NASA and beyond. Honoring her incredible life today that will continue to inspire generations. #BHM https://t.co/T3PwpHAQpl— Sen. Cory Booker (@SenBooker) February 24, 2020
A remarkable woman. Her legacy will not be forgotten. #KatherineJohnson https://t.co/wEsJTMt7Rh— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) February 24, 2020
As a child, Katherine Johnson said she “counted everything: the steps, the dishes, the stars in the sky." As a mathematician, she broke barriers to help reach those stars. Her calculations helped put Americans in space, in orbit, and, finally, on the moon. #HiddenFigures pic.twitter.com/5ONuV5zhQ0— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 24, 2020
Today, we mourn the loss of #KatherineJohnson, a pioneer in math and science who broke the barriers of race and gender. May her life and legacy continue to inspire the world. #HiddenFigures #RestInPower pic.twitter.com/CT2Ih9Muly— Derrick Johnson (@DerrickNAACP) February 24, 2020
With gratitude for her extraordinary and too-long unsung contributions to the U.S. Space Program. A pioneer and role model. Rest in Power #KatherineJohnson https://t.co/TG5Sxpzl5B— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) February 24, 2020
Johnson was part of a team of black mathematicians who worked at NASA, while it was still segregated, on the Mercury and Apollo missions.
In 2015, former President Barack Obama awarded Johnson the Presidential Medal of Freedom.