Katherine Johnson Quotes: Pioneering STEM with Wisdom

Frequently hailed as a “human computer,” Katherine Johnson is an African-American mathematician with a remarkable 35-year career at NASA.

In the following quotes from Katherine Johnson, she shares personal anecdotes about her tenure at NASA, her early life, and other aspects of her journey.

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What Knowledge Have You Learned Before About Katherine Johnson Quotes

Katherine Johnson, a brilliant mathematician, served as the mastermind behind numerous pivotal NASA space missions during its formative years.

Her indispensable contributions were instrumental in successfully launching the initial American astronauts into space as part of Project Mercury, NASA’s groundbreaking program dedicated to human space exploration.

In 2016, Taraji P. Henson portrayed Katherine Johnson in the critically acclaimed film “Hidden Figures,” which catapulted her remarkable achievements onto the global stage.

In recognition of her extraordinary accomplishments, Katherine Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2019, marking her exceptional legacy in American history.

To delve deeper into the awe-inspiring life and career of Katherine Johnson, explore further details below.

Katherine Johnson Quotes About Working At NASA

  • “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
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  • “John Glenn’s life will long be remembered for his time in space, his courage, and his service to all Americans.” – Katherine Johnson


  •  “I felt most proud on the success of the Apollo mission.” – Katherine Johnson


  •  “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


  •  “I liked working with smart people.” – Katherine Johnson


  • “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


  •  “There’s nothing to it; I was just doing my job.” – Katherine Johnson


  •  “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
  •  “We had to determine so much. Where you were, where the Moon would be and how fast the astronauts were going.” – Katherine Johnson


  •  “I was just excited to have challenging work to do and smart people to work with.” – Katherine Johnson


  • “We always worked as a team. It’s never just one person.” – Katherine Johnson


  • “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


  •  “My colleagues and I were committed to the work. We found different ways to deal with the segregation.” – Katherine Johnson


  •  “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


  •  “I believed I was where I was supposed to be.” – Katherine Johnson


  •  “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

Katherine Johnson quotes About Mathematics

  •  “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


  • “In math, you’re either right or you’re wrong.” – Katherine Johnson


  •  “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
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  • “Everything is physics and math.” – Katherine Johnson
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Relatable Katherine Johnson Quotes

  •  “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


  •  “I like to learn. That’s an art and a science.” – Katherine Johnson
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  •  “I’m just lucky — the Lord likes me and I like him.” – Katherine Johnson


  •  “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
  • “We always worked as a team. It’s never just one person.” – Katherine Johnson


When Was The Last Time You Acquired New Knowledge?

Throughout Katherine Johnson’s legacy is an emphasis on education.

Katherine Johnson’s parents ensured that there would be no roadblocks between Johnson and the education she strived for.

This is even more inspirational considering the time-period that Johnson was raised in, the early 1900s.

During that period, being African-American could have prevented her from reaching her full educational potential.

For example, the county she grew up in didn’t offer public schooling for African-Americans past eighth-grade.

To aid her schooling, her family moved cities to ensure that Johnson’s higher education could be pursued.

Their dedication to investing in the future of their children is clear and laid the foundation for Johnson to achieve a long-lasting career and thriving life.

Which of these Katherine Johnson quotes and sayings is your favorite?


If you enjoyed reading these Katherine Johnson  Quotes, be sure to check out more of my content about quotes from other celebrities, leaders, and thinkers.


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