From Margot Lee Shetterly
By Summary Station
Dorothy Vaughan, an American mathematician and the first African-American woman to become a head of personnel at NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), was born on September 1910 in Kansas City, Missouri. Dorothy Vaughan was named Dorothy Johnson at birth by her parents Leonard and Annie Johnson. In 1925, Dorothy graduated from Beechurst High School in Morgantown, West Virginia, where her parents had moved. Four years later, at the age of 19, Dorothy started her mathematics career: she got a Bachelor Degree at Wilberforce University in Ohio.
After graduation, she became a member of Zeta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Soon the Great Depression came, and Dorothy had to help her family, so she found a job as a teacher. When she turned 22, she became the wife of Howard Vaughan, and their marriage led to the birth of 4 children. Dorothy managed to go a long way in the traditionally men’s world of astronautics with her 28-year long career. She had been working for the Scout Project, Langley Research Centre that specializes in flight paths, and FORTRAN computer programming.
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