Kathleen Booth, computer pioneer who made a major breakthrough in programming – obituary

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Joined Aug 27, 2009


Sheryl Everett Wormley remembers her grandmother Ethel Just as an accomplished scholar and collegiate educator who broke barriers for Black women during the Jim Crow era. With a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State and a master’s from Boston University, Just became dean of women at South Carolina State University around 1950.

Those probably weren’t her only career achievements, although the others are harder to trace. During World War II, a unit of African American women secretly worked as code breakers in Arlington as part of America’s massive intelligence operation, which employed roughly 10,000 women code breakers in total. By deciphering encrypted communications, the women helped the Allied forces target Axis leaders and enemy ships—and even coordinate the D-Day invasion.


Joined Mar 31, 2012
The overwhelming majority of the tens of thousands of people that worked in code breaking, regardless of gender, race, or age, are "unsung heroes" that are never mentioned in the history books.