Hampton’s Katherine Johnson is honored at Academy Awards

(Photo courtesy of the Today Show's Twitter Account)

LOS ANGELES, Ca. (WAVY) – It’s not only actors getting standing ovations at Sunday’s Oscars — the audience gave a resounding welcome to a former NASA mathematician who is an inspiration for the film “Hidden Figures.”

Mathematician Katherine Johnson was brought out on stage to thunderous applause in an introduction by the actresses who portrayed Johnson and other female black mathematicians in the best picture nominee.

At least one woman in the audience was seen crying at the recognition for Johnson, who was part of a group of black women who helped put NASA ahead in the Space Race against the Soviet Union.

Johnson is played in the film by Taraji P. Henson.

The NASA Langley Research Center has named their new Computational Research Facility building after Johnson. She currently lives in Hampton.

The 98-year-old Johnson wore a blue dress and was brought out in a wheelchair during Sunday’s ceremony. She thanked the audience for their resounding welcome.