Mary Jackson biography

American Mary Jackson worked as an aircraft engineer and mathematician for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which was replaced by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1958. (NASA). She spent the majority of her career working at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

At the segregated West Area Computer division, she began her career as a computer in 1951. She pursued advanced engineering courses, and in 1958 she was hired by NASA as the organization’s first black female engineer. See the post for additional information on her.

Mary Jackson birth

Jackson’s mother, Mary Winston, was born in Hampton, Virginia, on April 9, 1921. Frank Winston and Ella Winston were her parents. She was raised in Hampton and earned the highest honours in 1937 from the only all-Black high school, George P. Phenix High School.

She enrolled in the Hampton Institute since math was one of her favourite classes in school, and in 1942 she earned a bachelor’s degree in math and physical science. Mary Winston wed Levi Jackson, a sailor in the Navy, in 1944. The couple later had two children: Carolyn Marie Lewis and Levi Jackson Jr.

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Mary Jackson career

Mary Jackson spent a year as a mathematics instructor at an African-American school in Calvert County, Maryland, after graduating. She moved back to Hampton in 1943 and started working as a bookkeeper at the National Catholic Community Center there. She was employed by the Hampton Institute’s Health Department as a clerk and receptionist.

Mary Jackson career

She was carrying a child at the time, and she eventually gave birth to her son at home. She started working as a clerk in 1951 at Fort Monroe’s Office of the Commander Army Field Forces.

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Entry to Naca

The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which was replaced by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1958, hired Jackson in 1951. (NASA). She accepted a job offer in 1953 to work in the Supersonic Pressure Tunnel for engineer Kazimierz Czarnecki.

Jackson had attained the top position in the engineering department by 1979. She made the decision to accept a demotion so that she could work as an administrator for the Equal Opportunity Specialist department. She went through training at NASA’s main office before returning to Langley. Up until her retirement in 1985, she remained employed by NASA.

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Mary Jackson death

On February 11, 2005, at the age of 83, Mary Jackson passed away in the comfort of her home in Hampton, where she had lived all of her life. After her passing, Jackson’s contributions to the US space programme and the scientific community were given the respect they deserved.

Mary Jackson recognition

Mary Jackson recognition

After her passing in 2005, Jackson’s contributions to the space programme were given further attention. She and other West Computers, like Katherine Johnson and Vaughan, served as the model for Margot Lee Shetterly’s book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, which was later adapted into a well-received movie. Both were published in 2016 and were widely praised.

Mary Jackson beyond NASA

Mary Jackson received numerous honours and prizes for both her charitable efforts and her contributions to science throughout the course of her illustrious career. At the Langley Research Center, she and her husband were renowned for having a “open door policy” for new hires, assisting them in settling in to a new community and profession.

Mary Jackson nasa

In addition to chairing and serving on boards and committees for numerous organisations, Jackson led a Girl Scout troop for thirty years. She received numerous awards for her dedication and leadership.

To Conclude

Mary Jackson, née Mary Winston, was an American mathematician and aerospace engineer who was born in Hampton, Virginia, on April 9, 1921, and died there on February 11, 2005. In 1958, she became the first African American woman engineer to work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).


  • Hritik Chawla

    Hrithik Chawla Here, I moved from Srilanka and now am a resident of United States. I am currently an editor and have been in the teaching field for many years. I love meeting new people and getting to know them on a personal level. My skills include data science and I am a hard worker.

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