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Black History Month One-On-One: 'Hidden Figure' Marion Lee Johnson

Anchored by 1010 WINS' Larry Mullins
Produced for 1010 WINS by Sharon Barnes-Waters 

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Black History Month honoree Marion Lee Johnson is a "Hidden Figure," who lives and works nearby in New Jersey.

"I hail from Savannah, Georgia – City by the Sea – and I love math," she tells 1010 WINS' Larry Mullins.

Marion Lee Johnson & Larry Mullins
(Credit: Sharon Barnes-Waters/1010 WINS)

Growing up, that love of math earned her a scholarship to Talladega College. From there, she quickly landed a job as an engineer at Boeing.

"You know, it wasn't difficult. It seemed like my path was paved for me. It was in the Lord's hands, and he said, 'This is what's going to happen,'" she says.

More: Larry's Blog: Marion Lee Johnson | Black History Month Photo Gallery

Johnson says Boeing was a diverse place in 1960s America.

"You had a lot of people there – a lot of people from all different cultures – and we all worked together. And if I ever needed anything – I know that doesn't sound believable, but if I ever needed anything -- they were there to help out," she says.

Marion Lee Johnson college graduation
(Courtesy: Marion Lee Johnson)

She was instrumental in landing a man on the moon.

"I'm just in there working, just doing my thing, trying to do the best that I can do. And knowing that I was among the minority there that I had to do my best if I was going to stay there," she says.

Marion Lee Johnson and her colleagues receiving award from Boeing
(Courtesy: Marion Lee Johnson)

Johnson went on to work for Pfizer for 25 years. When the film, "Hidden Figures" came out in 2016, her daughters connected the dots. Soon the accolades started pouring in.

The takeaway?

"I hope that if my students can believe it, they can achieve it," she says.

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