Virginia ‘Hidden Figure’ debuts memoir highlighting her groundbreaking journey

Dr. Gladys West of Dinwiddie County made history by helping to develop the Global Positioning System
Updated: Sep. 4, 2020 at 4:33 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Four years ago, the movie “Hidden Figures” shined the spotlight on Black female mathematicians who helped change the world.

Now, one of those women is sharing more of her story in a new book. Dr. Gladys West has released her memoir called “It Began With A Dream.”

The Dinwiddie County native served as a mathematician with the U.S. Navy for decades. She made history by helping to develop the Global Positioning System (GPS).

Like all of us, the 89-year-old has had some downtime during this pandemic.

So, she teamed up with writer Marvin Jackson to turn her dream of writing a book into a reality.

“I wanted to tell my story,” said Dr. West, who currently lives in Northern Virginia. ”We had been working with an elementary school at Dahlgren for more than 18, 20 years, and I’ve been telling my story every year. And then I realized my family still doesn’t know anything about me at all.”

“When I look at everything, I mean, just how she was as a little girl, how she was as a student, her work ethic. But I go back to how she talks about these great women in her past. The great women in her past who taught her so much,” said Jackson.

Dr. West met some of those influential women at her alma mater - Virginia State University.

The book is currently available on Amazon. It is expected to be released as an audiobook next month.

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