Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race is a nonfiction novel about the “human computers” who performed the calculations that launched humanity...
Margot Lee Shetterly is an American writer, author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (2016). Hidden Figures is a #1 New York Times bestseller.
Born in Hampton, Virginia, in 1969, Shetterly graduated from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. She worked in investment banking, magazine publication, and editorial consultation, among other jobs, and lived in Mexico for 11 years. Hidden Figures was researched and written over six years; she personally knew many of the women and families in the novel, and her father worked at the Langley Research Center. Hidden Figures won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Nonfiction, and it was adapted into a film of the same name starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe. Shetterly intends for Hidden Figures to be part of a trilogy, in conjunction with two other untold mid-century African American stories related to social mobility and the American Dream.
Shetterly founded The Human Computer Project, an effort to recover and preserve the accomplishments of the women employed by the NACA/NASA from the 1930s to the 1980s. She describes herself as an entrepreneur and intrepid traveler. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.