Ex-NASA research mathematician Katherine Johnson turns 101

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U.S. President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former NASA mathematician Katherine G. Johnson during an East Room ceremony November 24, 2015 at the White House in Washington, DC. Seventeen recipients were awarded with the nationÕs highest civilian honor. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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FAIRMONT, W.Va. — West Virginia icon, Katherine Johnson, turned 101 years old on Monday.

Johnson was born in White Sulpher Springs. She was handpicked to be one of the first black students to attend graduate school at West Virginia University, WDTV reports.

Johnson went on to lead a career at NASA where she made history. She made on-the-fly calculations for the Apollo 11 moon landing 50 years ago.

Johnson was portrayed in the movie “Hidden Figures.”

In 2015, President Barack Obama awarded Johnson with America’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

NASA Independent Verification and Validation Facility in Fairmont was renamed after Johnson in July.

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