Remembered for her association with Lockheed Martin's "Skunk Works" space travel design and engineering program, this Cherokee mathematician is also notable as the first woman of Native American heritage to pursue an engineering career.
After receiving an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the Northeastern State Teachers' College, she earned a master's degree in astronomy from the Colorado State Teachers' College. She later studied engineering at the University of California-Los Angeles.
Upon her death, she left a large endowment to Washington, D.C.'s National Museum of the American Indian.
She was born in Park Hill, Oklahoma, and she later settled in Los Angeles, California. She was the great granddaughter of Cherokee Nation Chief John Ross.
Ross was the first Native American engineer, and Susan Picotte was the first Native American doctor.