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The real-life inspiration behind ‘Hidden Figures’ got a standing ovation at the Oscars

'A true NASA and American hero.'


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 27, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 10:27 pm CDT

One of the real-life inspirations for Hidden Figures received a standing ovation at the Oscars more than 50 years after the vital contributions she and her colleagues made to advance the space program at NASA.

Hidden Figures stars Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe, and Octavia Spencer were on-hand to announce the award for Best Documentary Feature, but before they did that they wanted to introduce the audience—and the world—to the American hero whose story people are only learning about now: Katherine Johnson, the NASA “computer” who helped sent John Glenn into orbit.

They brought Johnson—now 98—to the Oscars and asked the crowd to give her a warm welcome. The audience was on their feet as Johnson took the the stage accompanied by NASA astronaut Yvonne Cagle. 

“Thank you all,” Johnson said.

For those who may not have known about Johnson’s achievements before watching the Oscars, NASA was ready to share that information with the world.

H/T Hello Giggles

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*First Published: Feb 27, 2017, 11:30 am CST