Katherine Johnson

1918 - 2020

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Icon of person Katherine Johnson

Creola Katherine Johnson (née Coleman; August 26, 1918 – February 24, 2020) was an American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights. During her 33-year career at NASA and its predecessor, she earned a reputation for mastering complex manual calculations and helped pioneer the use of computers to perform the tasks. The space agency noted her "historical role as one of the first African-American women to work as a NASA scientist".Johnson's work included calculating trajectories, launch windows, and emergency return paths for Project Mercury spaceflights, including those for astronauts Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and John Glenn, the first American in orbit, and rendezvous paths for the Apollo Lunar Module and command module on flights to the Moon. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Katherine Johnson has received more than 13,240,534 page views. Her biography is available in 57 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 49 in 2019). Katherine Johnson is the 88th most popular mathematician (down from 72nd in 2019), the 513th most popular biography from United States (down from 434th in 2019) and the 5th most popular American Mathematician.

Katherine Johnson is most famous for being one of the three African-American women who helped NASA launch John Glenn into space in 1962.

Memorability Metrics

  • 13M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 66.69

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 57

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 4.76

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 4.57

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of Katherine Johnsons by language

Over the past year Katherine Johnson has had the most page views in the with 1,049,667 views, followed by Spanish (222,415), and French (121,249). In terms of yearly growth of page views the top 3 wikpedia editions are Swedish (236.34%), Icelandic (73.41%), and Scottish Gaelic (62.36%)


Among mathematicians, Katherine Johnson ranks 88 out of 1,004Before her are Pappus of Alexandria, Stefan Banach, Felix Klein, Ctesibius, Alexander Friedmann, and Stanislaw Ulam. After her are Paul Erdős, Lars Ahlfors, Adrien-Marie Legendre, G. H. Hardy, Siméon Denis Poisson, and Leopold Kronecker.

Most Popular Mathematicians in Wikipedia

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Among people born in 1918, Katherine Johnson ranks 20Before her are Ken Miles, Gertrude B. Elion, Alberto Ascari, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Frederick Sanger, and Chaim Herzog. After her are William Holden, Martin Ryle, Jørn Utzon, Kai Siegbahn, Billy Graham, and Muriel Spark. Among people deceased in 2020, Katherine Johnson ranks 18Before her are Max von Sydow, Olivia de Havilland, Paolo Rossi, Michel Piccoli, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. After her are Albert Uderzo, Ian Holm, Stanley Cohen, Tabaré Vázquez, Rob Rensenbrink, and Robert Hossein.

Others Born in 1918

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Others Deceased in 2020

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In United States

Among people born in United States, Katherine Johnson ranks 513 out of 20,380Before her are Donald A. Glaser (1926), Kathy Bates (1948), Michael Landon (1936), Glenn Close (1947), Demi Moore (1962), and Liza Minnelli (1946). After her are William P. Murphy (1892), Kurt Russell (1951), Robert A. Heinlein (1907), Irving Langmuir (1881), William Holden (1918), and Paul Simon (1941).

Among MATHEMATICIANS In United States

Among mathematicians born in United States, Katherine Johnson ranks 5Before her are John Forbes Nash Jr. (1928), Charles Sanders Peirce (1839), Norbert Wiener (1894), and Claude Shannon (1916). After her are Herbert A. Hauptman (1917), Mary Jackson (1921), Edward Norton Lorenz (1917), Alonzo Church (1903), Jesse Douglas (1897), Karen Uhlenbeck (1942), and Paul Cohen (1934).