Nov 30, 1990 · Dorothy Rabin Ross, American history educator. United States Public Health Service grantee, 1965-1968, National Science Foundation grantee, 1980-1981. Fellow Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, Society of America Historians; member American Studies Association, History of Science Society, American History Association, Organization American Historians (executive board 1987-1989).
Dorothy Vaughan helmed West Computing for nearly a decade. In 1958, when the NACA made the transition to NASA, segregated facilities, including the West Computing office, were abolished. Dorothy Vaughan and many of the former West Computers joined the new Analysis and Computation Division (ACD), a racially and gender-integrated group on the ...
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May 24, 2018 · Genealogy profile for Dorothy Ross Dorothy Ross (c.1891 - 1947) - Genealogy Genealogy for Dorothy Ross (c.1891 - 1947) family tree on Geni, with over 225 million profiles of ancestors and living relatives.
- circa 1891
- 1947 (51-60)
- Alan Jones
27 Dorothy Vaughan Premium High Res Photos Browse 27 dorothy vaughan stock photos and images available, or start a new search to explore more stock photos and images. Female NASA employees, hired to perform mathematics calculations and known as "human computers", including Dorothy Vaughan, Leslie Hunter, and Vivian...
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- Early Life
- from Teacher to Computer
- Supervisor and Innovator
- Later Life and Legacy
Dorothy Vaughan was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the daughter of Leonard and Annie Johnson. The Johnson family soon moved to Morgantown, West Virginia, where they stayed throughout Dorothy’s childhood. She quickly proved to be a talented student, graduating early from high school at the age of 15 as her graduating class’ valedictorian. At Wilberforce University, a historically Black college in Ohio, Vaughan studied mathematics. Her tuition was covered by a full-ride scholarship from the West Virginia Conference of the A.M.E. Sunday School Convention. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in 1929, only 19 years old, cum laude. Three years later, she married Howard Vaughan, and the couple moved to Virginia, where they initially lived with Howard’s wealthy and well-respected family.
Although Vaughan was encouraged by her professors at Wilberforce to go to graduate school at Howard University, she declined, instead taking a job at Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia, so that she could help support her family during the Great Depression. During this time, she and her husband Howard had six children: two daughters and four sons. Her position and education placed her as an admired leader in her community. Dorothy Vaughan taught high school for 14 years during the era of racially segregated education. In 1943, during World War II, she took a job at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA, the predecessor to NASA) as a computer. NACA and the rest of the federal agencies had technically desegregated in 1941 by executive order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Vaughan was assigned to the West Area Computing group at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Despite women of color being recruited actively, they were still segregated...
In 1949, Dorothy Vaughan was assigned to supervise the West Area Computers, but not in an official supervisory role. Instead, she was given the role as acting head of the group (after their previous supervisor, a white woman, died). This meant the job didn’t come with the expected title and pay bump. It took several years and advocating for herself before she was finally given the role of supervisor in an official capacity and the benefits that came with it. Vaughan did not just advocate for herself, but also worked hard to advocate for more opportunities for women. Her intention was not just to help her West Computing colleagues, but women across the organization, including white women. Eventually, her expertise came to be highly valued by the engineers at NASA, who relied heavily on her recommendations to match projects with the computers whose skills aligned best. In 1958, NACA became NASA and segregated facilities were completely and finally abolished. Vaughan worked in the Nume...
Dorothy Vaughan worked at Langley for 28 years while raising six children (one of whom followed in her footsteps and worked at NASA’s Langley facility). In 1971, Vaughan finally retired at the age of 71. She continued to be active in her community and her church throughout retirement, but lived a fairly quiet life. Vaughan died on November 10, 2008 at the age of 98, less than a week after the election of America’s first Black president, Barack Obama. Vaughan’s story came to public attention in 2016, when Margot Lee Shetterly published her nonfiction book "Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race." The book was made into a popular feature film, "Hidden Figures," which was nominated for Best Picture at the 2017 Academy Awards and won the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Award for best ensemble (the guild’s equivalent of a best picture award). Vaughan is one of the three main characters in the film, along with colleagues Katherine...Shetterly, Margot Lee. Dorothy Vaughan Biography. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.Shetterly, Margot Lee. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race. William Morrow & Company, 2016.