Dorothy J. Vaughan
HAMPTON - Mrs. Dorothy J. Vaughan, 98, died on Monday, Nov. 10, 2008, at Sentara Careplex in Hampton.
She was born on Sept. 20, 1910, in Kansas City, Mo., to Leonard H. and Annie A. Johnson.
In 1917, the family moved to Morgantown, W.Va. She graduated from Beechurst H.S. in 1925 and received a B.S. degree in 1929 from Wilberforce University In Zenia, Ohio. She became a member of Zeta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in 1926.
In 1943, she moved to Newport News and was employed as a mathematician at Langley Field for NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), which was the forerunner of today's NASA space program. She was among the first group of Blacks to be employed as mathematicians. They were placed in a segregated section and were responsible for doing the mathematical computations for the engineers conducting aeronautical experiments. Using slide rulers, calculators, and film readings, they provided the engineers with the data needed to conduct various performance testing, such as the variables effecting drag and lift of the aircraft. These experiments were conducted in the wind tunnels at Lanley. Prior to moving to Newport News, she was a teacher at Robert R. Moton H.S., in Farmville, Va., and a member of Beulah AME Church.
In 1993, she was honored as a 50 year member of St. Paul AME Church of Newport News. She actively participated in the Music department, Dora Brown Missionary Society and the Bread distribution program until her illness. Also she was a member of the Silver Bells at the Phillis Wheatley Y.W.C.A.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Howard S. Vaughan Jr.; sons, Michael J. and Donald H. Vaughan.
She is survived by her children, Ann V. Hammond (Rudy), Maida Kathryn Cobbins (George), Leonard S. Vaughan (Mary), and Kenneth H. Vaughan; grandchildren, Dr. Maurice G. Cary, Kimberly Isreal, Maida Robinson, Minister Kenneth H. Vaughan Jr., Dr. L. Stephen Vaughan, Dr. Tracie Vaughan-Veney, Michele V. Webb, Heather V. Batten, Melissa Vaughan and Bradley Smith; 14 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Emma Vaughan; daughters-in-law, Priscilla (Pat) and Audrey C. Vaughan; a special niece, Janet Vaughan; nephew, De'Jon Lee; a host of family and friends.
A special thanks to Doctors Maurice W. Frazier, Phillip Dennis, and David Gore.
Viewing will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, at Cooke Bros. Funeral Chapel, 1601-27th St. NN, VA. 23607. A funeral service will be held at noon Friday, Nov. 14, at St. Paul AME Church. Interment will follow at Hampton Memorial Gardens. Condolences may be sent to the family at
The final care of our loved one has been entrusted to Cooke Bros. Funeral Chapel. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published by Daily Press on Nov. 12, 2008.
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39 Entries
She was a great activist for the naca program and a great researcher. thank you, dorothy.
Natalia Legendre
September 24, 2019
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
maureen gadalla
May 5, 2019
So sorry to hear of your loss of your loved one. May God comfort and help you cope during this difficult time.
April 3, 2018
Thank you, Dr Vaughn for your achievements , perseverance and fortitude. It humbles me to know your story and how you did not let anything stop you from achieving all that you have achieved. You paved the way for the Hidden Figures in NASA by learning Fortran and making your jobs possible and you have paved the way in history forever, by teaching values by example. May you Rest In Peace.
Rajani Kanukollu
March 2, 2018
thank you!!!!!!!
A'niyah Riley
February 26, 2018
thank you you have shoed me to never give up and that being a woman is the best thing I could be.
Arianna evans
February 25, 2018
im doing a history project on this beatiful ladie omg byfar this is great
February 15, 2018
Thank you Mrs Dorothy J. Vaughan my daughter's and I appreciate your services. My daughter attend Biscayne Elementary School and I'm so excited that she will be playing you for black history !!!!!! Rest in peace
Ronett Thomas
February 8, 2018
Thank you for your contribution to the world, you have reached the stars. Peace
Hiram Eberhardt
January 25, 2018
thank You Mrs. Vaughan
January 2, 2018
Thank You.
Tint Rao
November 19, 2017
Dear Mrs. Vaughan, family & friends,

Your efforts to make this world a BIGGER place will never be forgotten.

Thank you.
Jennifer Johnson
October 28, 2017
Just found out that you paved the path like others for not just women but women of all races in high ranking careers. Thank you for your amazing patience and courage. May you Rest In Peace.
Virginia Ruiz
October 21, 2017
Thank you for your courage
Vincent Moore
February 19, 2017
Ms. Vaughn may you rest in peace. Your life and your work not only lit a light that blasted a rocket into space, but also continues to inspire and challenge us to achieve double victory day. The times are testing our faith and our souls, but if you and your talented fellow computers could persist and reach the stars, then we can only recommit to you and your family to redouble our efforts to ensure equity and justice for all. Thank you for inspiring us and showing us that the unimaginable is possible. Carol Barrick-Murillo, Costa Rica
Carol Barrick-Murillo
February 13, 2017
My heartfelt and deepest condolences from someone who never met her but has been touched by her life.
Stephen Spence
February 13, 2017
My God; I work at the Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral Florida... I have seen over and over again video of these exact words: Oh yes, we sent man into space "Powered by the Human Brain"
Not once, was it ever said the human brains belong to 3- African American Women

Good Bless Ms. Dorothy..Ms. Mary and Ms. Katherine for their Beautiful Souls, and Brilliant Math Skills. Now, those are the kind of people like "Me" that I needed to sit next to in my math classes. I loved math, but it didn't like me....
Gail Adams
February 12, 2017
My husband and I just had a "private" showing in an otherwise empty movie theater where we were inspired by the women in "Hidden Figures".
We were in college during that time and remember the moments in history shown in the film.
We each began our teaching years in Harford County Maryland, the year of voluntary integration (Colored students could opt to attend white schools if desired). That was 1963. The next year integration was mandatory. 10 years later our children attended elementary school in the former colored high school. Little did we know then, that God was working through your dear Mother, Grandmother, Great grandmother, to send these famous astronauts into space. We feel privileged to have been introduced to these great women of America's history. I am telling everyone I know to fill the movie theaters to get educated about these impressive, modest women who contributed so very much to United States history. I am proud for you to be in her family. God bless you.
February 8, 2017
May light perpetual shine upon you! Thank you for all your contribution to American History, the Space Program, but most of all to African Americans and Women!!! Until "Hidden Figures" came out, I knew nothing about the Human Computers. Rest in Peace and Thank you for breaking down barriers!
Elaine Jones
February 7, 2017
This is January 24 on the year 2017 and the movie unfortunately was the first time I ever heard of you remarkable, amazing women. I am 61 years old African American male who as a child loved the space program. I believe that your contributions to the space program and it appears the key reason America ever got off the ground is due to the sheer genius of you ladies. The pride I felt in you is immeasurable. Too bad I and so many others had never heard of you. Imagine a six year old boy feeling that pride. Should have been in that parade right alongside Col. Glenn. Thank you and God's speed to you all.
January 24, 2017
May you rest in Heavenly Peace! I was stationed at Langley Field (Air Force Base) in 1979 and never knew of your legacy until now! Thank you and Ms Johnson and Ms Jackson for breaking down doors and being trailblazers!
Anthony Hill
January 22, 2017
The legacy of Mrs. Vaughan's life is inspirational! To God be the glory for all the amazing and unprecedented accomplishments she achieved. I believe she would be proud of Octavia's portrayal of her in the film "Hidden Figures". She was a lady of integrity, intelligence, selflessness, patience and humility. May she spend eternity basking in the glory of her Creator!
January 22, 2017
Ms.Ann McDougald and Family MCDOUGALD
January 16, 2017
Thanks lady for the legacy to the in peace Dorothy j.Vaughan
Wildelina Logan
January 16, 2017
Wow! I just saw the movie Hidden figures and find out about this lady and the other 2 .thanks for make a difference .Rip
wildelina Logan
January 16, 2017
Just finished Hidden Figures and now I want to learn more about this remarkable figure and truly understand her legacy. Looking forward to reading the book and learning the true timeline of her achievements. Inspirational!
January 15, 2017
I am a 64 year old Black Man who was not aware of the incredible contributions to the NASA Program that Mrs Vaughn made. I consider it an Honor to finally know about her great achievements through the Movie Hidden Figures. I know that the people that worked under her supervision consider them selfs blessed people. She impressed me as the type of person that was a giver of her knowledge to help develop and improve the lives of others. May God forever hold her in his arms and provide her Peace, Joy and Happiness for Eternity.
January 15, 2017
Wow! It is shameful not to have known such a great person at the height of their greatness - It is a crime not to celebrate their history of their life story - Because they lived a time when I could have known them - The missed Pleasure of a Joy life long Memory - After All... She did make a Contribution to the whole of Humanity... and I really do wish I could have thanked Her -
eugene terrell
January 15, 2017
Thank you for your service. I'm an educator a middle school student with a project on your life.
Thanks for the opportunity
Valerie Smith tutorials- Memphis, TN
January 9, 2017
A privilege to restore this book of condolences for a women who opened the doors for all women of color who followed her into science, math, and technology.
Science Mom
January 9, 2017
Gratitude from a parent of a daughter who is following the path she left for others. Salute!
Science Mom
January 8, 2017
I worked at NACA and then NASA in the same office as Dorothy when she transferred to ACD and programmed on the big computers we had at that time. I enjoyed getting to know her until I left in !965. She was always so nice and I know how you must miss her.
Jean Migneault
November 16, 2008
No bond is as great as that between a parent and child. My deepest condolences are with you as you grieve.
Ruth Kirk
November 15, 2008
Kenneth, To you and your Family, it is difficult to find words of comfort at this difficult time of the lost of your Dear Mother, but to let you know that
you're in our Prayers and thoughts and may God
continue to Bless and keep you.
With deep Sympathy,
Jim and Marlou
James Merritt
November 14, 2008
Kenneth - May you and your family find comfort in God's love during this time of such a great loss. Peace!
Sylvia Hiett Alston
November 13, 2008
Michelle and family: Although the loss of your beautiful mother and grandmother is a devastating loss, how glorious your memories must be! Remember that although she is absent from the body she is present with the lord!
Ingrid Slonsky
November 13, 2008
Mrs. Vaughan was a wonderful lady. May God keep the family in his warm peaceful arms during this time.
Peace Be With You,
Diane Allen Dekoladenu, Upper Marlboro, MD.
Diane Dekoladenu
November 13, 2008
Words cannot express how sorry I am about the recent loss of Mrs. Vaugh. Your loss is huge and I can only imagine the hurt you feel. I want you to know that the Vaugh family are in my thoughts and prayers.
LaDawn Howard
November 12, 2008
I remember Ms. Vaughan and her family when they lived on Delaware Avenue in Dunbar Garden. May God provide the family and friends of Ms. Vaughan the strength that they need during their time of bereavement.
Sherlock Bruce
November 12, 2008
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