156 Katherine Johnson Quotes from NASA Mathematician

Filed in Quotes by on March 6, 2023

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If you’re looking for some fun facts and Katherine Johnson Quotes, you’re at the right place. She was a famous mathematician and a physicist. She was one of the first African American who joined NASA and became a prominent scientist.

Katherine Johnson Quotes

Who is Katherine Johnson?

Katherine Johnson was a well-known American mathematician who began her career at NASA.

Her contributions to the world of maths and space exploration truly made a huge difference in and impacted on the success of spaceflights and communications.

Katherine Johnson was born on the 26th August 1918 and passed on the 24th of February 2020. She discovered that she was mathematically talented at an early age.

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Despite her strong mathematical abilities, Katherine’s background and family made things much more difficult for her.

Because she was African American, she struggled with education because the county she grew up in did not provide public education to African Americans.

Unfortunately, Johnson’s African American heritage and gender meant that pursuing a mathematical career would be difficult. But this did not deter her!

What was Katherine Johnson Famous for?

Katherine Johnson was famous for her work with NASA as an aerospace technologist for 13 years–right until her retirement in 1986. Johnson became interested with space travel after NACA was renamed NASA.

Katherine Johnson and NASA had a huge impact on the world of space exploration and travel. It all began when she was assigned to perform trajectory analysis for America’s first human space flight.

She also co-authored a very crucial report which laid out the equations that perfectly described orbital spaceflights and their landing positions.

As well as making a profound impact on and contributing to the world of space travel, her mark as an African American woman was truly excellent.

Katherine, for example, was the first woman to be recognized as an author on a NASA report. She paved the way for women and African Americans to make their mark and achieve great things during a time of terrible discrimination and inequality.

Fun Facts About Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson was popular for her work in NASA. In 1962, she completed the work that she would become most known for.

She contributed to the preparations for John Glenn’s space mission by assisting in the construction of a global communications network. Johnson’s equations aided in keeping the mission on track and safe.

Katherine was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by ex-President Barack Obama in 2015 for her contribution to America’s progress.

She also received a Silver Snoopy Award, which is given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to flight safety and success.

Katherine has a structure called after her at NASA. Her career has also inspired a Hollywood film.

In this article, we have made a list of the best inspirational quotes by Katherine Johnson during her days at NASA and in other events. Read on to get inspired.

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Katherine Johnson’s Net Worth

Katherine Johnson's Net Worth

Katherine Johnson was one of the richest mathematicians who was born in West Virginia. She is also one of the most popular and successful mathematicians in history.

Her work may not have received as much attention as it should have, but without her contribution, the world would not have seen many greater things. People have traveled to the Moon because of her quick calculations and sharp brains.

Katherine also earned a good sum of money during her time as a maths teacher. She was a maths enthusiast who showed an early interest in maths as a brilliant child.

Today, mathematics is one of those things which made her stand out. She earned a greater part of her money from being a mathematician.

Before Katherine Johnson’s death in 2020, her estimated net worth rose to $2.5 million$5million. Below is a breakdown of her salary in detail;

Katherine Johnson’s Salary / Income:

Yearly: $ 4,00,000

Monthly: $ 32,000

Weekly: $ 8,000

Katherine Johnson Quotes

Get inspired with some of her quotes below:

1. 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.

2. You are no superior not inferior even if you are rich and you are poor

3. 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. 

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

5. Our teachers made such a difference – all my teachers and professors were very supportive and nurturing.- Katherine Johnson.

6. 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.

7. In math, you’re either right or you’re wrong. 

8. Everything is physics and math. 

9. 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.

10. Like what you do, and then you will do your best. 

11. I believed I was where I was supposed to be.

12. 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.

13. Many professors tell you that you’d be good at this or that, but they don’t always help you with that career path.

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

 Katherine Johnson’s 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.

15. 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.

16. 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.

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

18. 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

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

20. We always worked as a team. It’s never just one person.

21. 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.

22. Men don’t pay attention to small things.- Presidential Medal of Freedom speech, 2015.

23. 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.

24. Girls are capable of doing everything men are capable of doing. Sometimes they have more imagination than men.- Speech at the Oscars, 2017.

Quotes About Learning

Quotes About Learning

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

25. I’m always interested in learning something new.

26. 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.

27. 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.

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.

29. Sometimes I could see that others in the class did not understand what W.W. Schieffelin Claytor was teaching. So I would ask questions to help them.

30. Once you took the first step, anything was possible.

31. Even as a professional in an integrated world, I had been the only black woman in enough drawing rooms and boardrooms to have an inkling of the chutzpah it took for an African American woman in a segregated southern workplace to tell her bosses she was sure her calculations would put a man on the Moon.

32. Everything is physics and math.

33. My colleagues and I were committed to the work. We found different ways to deal with the segregation.

34. If you lose curiosity then you stop learning.

35. I like to learn. That’s an art and a science.

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NASA Quotes

36. Like what you do, and then you will do your best. – Katherine, Interview at Nasa, 1966.

37. 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.

38. Like what you do, and then you will do your best.

39. I like to learn. That’s an art and a science..

40. In math, you’re either right or you’re wrong.

41. 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.

42. I liked working with smart people.

43. For appall mission, I feel proud. It was a space journey and I made paths easy

44. We’re really young, so there’s a lot of room for growth. If these girls stay together and work together during the off-season they will grow as a team

45. 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. 

46. There are only two conditions right or wrong in math

47. I don’t have a feeling of inferiority. Never had. I’m as good as anybody, but no better. 

48. 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.

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

Katherine Johnson Inspirational Quotes

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.

50. When a space program came along I just happened to be working with guys and when they had briefings I asked permission to go, and they said the girls don’t usually go. And I said, well, is there a law? They said no and then my boss said ‘let her go’.

51. I see a picture right now that’s not parallel, so I’m going to go straighten it. Things must be in order.-A Lifetime of STEM, 2020.

52. 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.

53. 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.

54. 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. -The Girl Who Loved to Count, 2015.

55. I was just excited to have challenging work to do and smart people to work with. 

56. 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.

Quotes on Research

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

57. Our teachers made such a difference–all my teachers and professors were very supportive and nurturing.

58. We had to determine so much. Where you were, where the Moon would be and how fast the astronauts were going.

59. I was excited at something new, always liked something new, but give credit to everybody who helped.- Katherine Johnson, 2017.

60. I didn’t want anything to happen and it didn’t.- Interview with NASA (She Was a Computer When Computers Wore Skirts), 2008.

61. The main thing 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.

62. 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.

63. You lose your curiosity when you stop learning.- Katherine Johnson, Interview with the WHRO, 2011.

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

65. 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.

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

67. Everything is physics and math. 

Important Quotes by Katherine Johnson

Here are other important sayings by one of the only women involved in Project Mercury and the Apollo 11 mission. Get knowledge and inspiration from these Katherine Johnson quotes too.

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

69. I don’t have a feeling of inferiority. Never had. I’m as good as anybody, but no better.

70. I had a question every time for what I have been thinking when there is a question why there are girls to mention and ask

71. In math, you’re either right or you’re wrong.

72. I like to learn. That’s an art and a science.

73. 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.

74. I was just excited to have challenging work to do and smart people to work with.

75. I’m always interested in learning something new. 

76. Experiment for the basket was awesome but I learned something

77. If you attack the problem right, you’ll get the answer.

78. I felt most proud on the success of the Apollo mission. 

More Inspirational Quotes by Katherine Johnson

More Inspirational Quotes by Katherine Johnson

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

80. Like what you do, and then you will do your best.

81. 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.

82. In math, you’re either right or you’re wrong.

83. 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. 

84. You must always get the love for something

85. I like to learn. That’s an art and a science. 

86. My interest was the computer I still calculate like it I don’t need to transfer it to computer

87. 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

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

89. 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.-Interview with NASA 2008.

Katherine Johnson Quotes to Make You Better

90. You had a mission and you worked on it. And it was important to you to do your job. And play bridge at lunch.- Interview with the WHRO, 2011.

91. 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.

92. I don’t have a feeling of inferiority. Never had. I’m as good as anybody, but no better.

93. 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.- 1999.

94. Many professors tell you that you’d be good at this or that, but they don’t always help you with that career path. 

95. Mathematics compares the most diverse phenomena and discovers the secret analogies that unite them.

96. Give credit to everyone who helped, I didn’t do anything alone.

97. I was always around people who were learning something. I liked to learn.- 2011.

98. .Men don’t pay attention to small things.

99. 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.

100. You are no better than anyone else, and no one is better than you.

101. We were the pioneers of the space era. You had to read Aviation Week to find out what you’d done.- The Daily Press, 1990.

102. I felt most proud on the success of the Apollo mission. 

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Aggressive Motivational Quotes

Aggressive Motivational Quotes

103. 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.- ‘

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

105. Even as a professional in an integrated world, I had been the only black woman in enough drawing rooms and boardrooms to have an inkling of the chutzpah it took for an African American woman in a segregated southern workplace to tell her bosses she was sure her calculations would put a man on the Moon.

106. There has been a lifeguard shortage for a while, so it’s good that young people are into it.

107. Proud to do things right now you are doing and feel happy for those you will get tomorrow

108. I didn’t do anything alone but try to go to the root of the question and succeeded there.

109. When you go ahead it’s special when it was impossible

110. 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. 

Hidden Figures Quotes

111. 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.

112. Everybody was concerned about them getting there. We were concerned about them getting back. – Katherine on the Apollo 13 mission in an interview, 2010.

113. 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.

119. 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.

120. 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.

121. There’s nothing to it; I was just doing my job.

122. 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.

Famous Mathematician Quotes

123. The essence of mathematics lies in its freedom.

124. I’ve always enjoyed mathematics. It is the most precise and concise way of expressing an idea.

125. The definition of a good mathematical problem is the mathematics it generates rather than the problem itself.

126. To me, mathematics, computer science, and the arts are insanely related. They’re all creative expressions.

127. The study of mathematics, like the Nile, begins in minuteness but ends in magnificence.

128. You don’t have to be a mathematician to have a feel for numbers.

129. Mathematics allows for no hypocrisy and no vagueness.

130. Why do children dread mathematics? Because of the wrong approach. Because it is looked at as a subject.

131. Pure mathematicians just love to try unsolved problems — they love a challenge.

132. Nature is written in mathematical language.

133. Mathematics has beauty and romance. The mathematical world is not boring. It’s an extraordinary place; it’s worth spending time there.

134. It is clear that the chief end of mathematical study must be to make the students think.

135. Mathematics is a place where you can do things that you can’t do in the real world.

136. Mathematics is a language.

137. A mathematician who is not also something of a poet will never be a complete mathematician.

138. Mathematics is not about numbers, equations, computations, or algorithms: it is about understanding.

139. Mathematics are the result of mysterious powers which no one understands, and which the unconscious recognition of beauty must play an important part. Out of an infinity of designs a mathematician chooses one pattern.

140. I’ve always been interested in using mathematics to make the world work better.

141. In mathematics the art of proposing a question must be held of higher value than solving it.

Short Maths Quotes

142. The essence of math is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple.

143. Somehow it’s okay for people to chuckle about not being good at math. Yet, if I said “I never learned to read,” they’d say I was an illiterate dolt.

144. Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.

145. It’s fine to work on any problem, so long as it generates interesting mathematics along the way — even if you don’t solve it at the end of the day.

146. Men don’t pay attention to small things. 

147. Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why.

148. It is impossible to be a mathematician without being a poet in soul.

149. There should be no such thing as boring mathematics.

150. Just because we can’t find a solution, it doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

151. If I were again beginning my studies, I would follow the advice of Plato and start with mathematics.

152. Mathematics is the music of reason.

153. The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics.

154. I hope that seeing the excitement of solving this problem will make mathematicians realize that there are lots and lots of other problems in mathematics which are going to be just as challenging in the future.

155. Go down deep enough into anything and you will find mathematics.

156. Practice makes Perfect. 

Katherine Johnson was famous for her great works at NASA and her inspirational lifestyle and speeches. Hence, we hope that her quotes were able to inspire and push you to become a better person.

CSN Team.

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