website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area. renamed the street in front of its headquarters. Jackson worked as an aerospace engineer for some 20 years. Carolyn is related to Joan A Sanders and Carmen Delores Jackson as well as 6 additional people. Carolyn Lewis, Ms. Jackson’s daughter, said she felt honored to see NASA continue to celebrate her mother’s legacy. Last year, NASA renamed its Independent Verification and Validation Facility in Fairmont, W.Va., after Ms. Johnson, just days before her death; in 2017, the agency named a research facility in her honor. Copyright © 2020 by WTOP. “Mary W. Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space. Ms. Lewis said she and her family appreciated the recognition her mother started to received, but she also wished it would have come sooner. “NASA is dedicated to advancing diversity, and we will continue to take steps to do so.”. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Mathematician and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson was born on April 9, 1921, in Hampton, Virginia. In 1953 Jackson left the West Computers to work for engineer Kazimierz Czarnecki, conducting experiments in a high-speed wind tunnel. Ms. Jackson’s contributions received widespread attention after the release of the 2016 film “Hidden Figures,” which chronicled black women’s work during the space race. Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology,” Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement. The film, in which Ms. Jackson was portrayed by Janelle Monáe, was nominated for three Oscars. Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here. CBS News | @CBSNews, ▶ Watch Video: NASA renames street “Hidden Figures Way” to honor Black female mathematicians. In 1951 she joined the West Computers at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, and in 1958 she became the first black female engineer at NASA. She is an actress and writer, known for SCTV Network (1981), Maniac Mansion (1990) and Love Me Deadly (1972). Much of her work centered on the airflow around aircraft. Bridenstine said NASA, which has been historically criticized for race and gender inequality, is committed to honoring the people of color who have contributed to the agency’s success. Since Virginia’s schools were still segregated, she had to obtain special permission to take classes with white students. She later married Levi Jackson. Mary Jackson, née Mary Winston, (born April 9, 1921, Hampton, Virginia, U.S.—died February 11, 2005, Hampton), American mathematician and aerospace engineer who in 1958 became the first African American female engineer to work at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Much of her work centred on the airflow around aircraft. She retired in 1985 and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2019, along with her “Hidden Figures” colleagues Vaughan, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area. Jackson was recruited in 1951 to work for NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, in the segregated West Area Computing Unit in Hampton, Virginia, NASA said.