Who is James Francis Goble?
The world has seen many geniuses over the undying flow of time. The contributions they make in their field of expertise leave the world a better place even when they are gone. Throughout history, the intelligence of humankind has always pushed its boundaries when needs have aroused. James Francis Goble was the husband of now renowned mathematician Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson who has broken barriers of age, race, and gender before any feminist movement, through her rigorous and supreme performance in manual calculations, and impeccable accuracy.
Not everyone in this world is recognized for such contributions. Some of them are recognized after death, while others remain unknown and unnamed forever.
So is the case of actual heroes, let alone the supportive characters that help them.
You must have noticed, rarely are the supportive family members of such personalities accredited for their contributions.
It requires a big rumor or thunder rocking news for such people to come into the limelight. James Francis Goble is one of such notable names.
|Full name||James Francis Goble|
|Hair color||Grayish black|
|Fashion style||90’s formals for high school teachers—coat, pant, an overcoat, and a shirt|
Childhood and education
James was born as a son of father Charles Jackson Goble, Sr. and mother Anna Thomas-Goble (Smith) on a fine Saturday of March 29, 1913. He opened his eyes in Marion, Smyth County, Virginia, United States.
He was born in a small middle-class family. He had four siblings, three of whose whereabouts are not known to anyone.
It is believed three of them are brothers and the fourth one is his sister, Helen Goble McClanahan.
Born and raised in an African-origin American family, he had to face the hidden discrimination that was prevalent in the then-American society right from his birth.
However, he obtained his graduation and started a career as a teacher.
Being an Aries by his birth sign, his personality was that of a leader. He was cooperative, loyal, humble, trustworthy, and talented. His simple dressing sense showed his humble nature and inclination towards inner beauty rather than that of outer appearance.
It also dictates his love and respect towards academics and academicians since he was a teacher himself.
He also married and held a successful relationship with a mathematician until the last breath of his life.
He was an esteemed man, a positive personality, whose quests assuredly helped African-American family members open their doors to higher academic achievements and even exposure to outer space.
James’s relationship and marriage
The only love of his life that is known to the media is his wife Katherine. She was born on August 26, 1918, to a simple nuclear family with working parents.
Her father was a farmer and her mother taught small kids in a nearby school.
Both James and Katherine were born and raised in West Virginia. Her family was originally from White Sulfur Springs of West Virginia.
James appreciated hard work and dedication in his partner. She was a brilliant mind who honed her skills amidst social discrimination.
Katherine was a Mathematics and French major from West Virginia State College in 1937. After two years of her graduation, she married James.
In search of job opportunities, James and his family moved to Newport News in 1953. In his seventeen years of married life, James had three children with Katherine. They are his beautiful daughters: Constance, Katherine, and Joylette.
James’ firstborn was in 1940, bringing him joy, and his wife, a halt in her career that summer. She had to leave her university and spend a decade of her life for motherhood and family upbringing.
She even did multiple teaching jobs to meet the ends of the family.
James as the head of the family, made huge strides to grow his daughters into rigorously educated people.
It was all worth it as all his children along with his wife had a remarkable career in their lives.
Being the husband of a groundbreaking talent is not an easy task. James supported his wife in every way he could to make her a successful pioneering genius female mind of America.
Life was hard for all of them during the later years of James’ life, especially for Katherine.
As for James, he had to support a wife who started her scientific life at the age of Jim Crow.
Even after a hundred years of independence, American society was still resistant to men of color. He understood the struggle his wife must have faced every day and encouraged her.
James was her first husband, who died a married man. Katherine remarried James A. Johnson after three years of James’ death.
Her second husband was a U.S. Army Officer and Korean War Veteran. Together, they had 6 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
James Francis Goble’s career
James was a chemistry teacher. He lived in Marion and got married to an educated and elegant university graduate lady of his choice.
Life was moving smoothly, however, the mid centuries brought the fall for James.
James fell ill when he was in their hometown. His illness turned into a protracted fight against an inoperable brain tumor (cancer). This was both costly and tiring.
His wife had to take a job since he could not continue with work.
It is believed that James and his wife took multiple careers like teaching throughout their lives to raise their children. Being a unique brain inside a black woman, during times of discrimination, Katherine had to wait till she got a chance to enroll in a university degree and job at NASA.
It was the time where the death of an African American lady at the age of 35 would be more natural news than her authority.
It was difficult for the family to meet their ends when the head of the family was ill and female employees were not paid as much as their male counterparts.
James and his family were patient enough to deal with all the difficulties and face them with courage. James received good support from his in-laws for re-establishing the career of his wife in such harsh times.
Their migration to Newport after the diagnosis, including her entry on NASA, was a game-changer to his family.
Apollo 11, one of the major highlights, her impeccable calculations made other planets like Mercury and earth’s orbit in space accessible to earth folks.
All of it was not a piece of cake though. She had to wake up encouraged to work every single day.
James could not support her financially but was a binding force and moral support, who prevented the family from falling apart while everyone was trying to build their career.
The humble nature Katherine was inspired by James. She felt exactly equal to the male colleagues in NASA as she proved her diligence through myriad calculations.
She deflected praise on doing what had to be done for the job.
James was excited to learn about her achievements through newspapers.
James Francis Goble’s fame
James is famous as a celebrity figure. His wife Katherine was an American Physicist and Mathematician responsible for groundbreaking research works on orbital mechanics calculations as a NASA employee in an aeronautics space program.
This contribution made by Katherine was critical to the success of NASA’s attempt on crewed space flights and basically, every subsequent discovery made by NASA. She was called an “American Academic Hero”, and basically a “Computer” who pioneered a legacy in calculations.
In 2015, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Katherine retired from NASA after serving in NASA’s flight research division for 33 years in 1986. She would have remained unheralded if not for the movie released recently. Her contributions were appreciated through the feature film “Hidden Figures” in February 2016.
This movie portrayed Katherine and her late colleagues, whose contributions were significant milestones in making America a great nation in terms of research and development. The movie received a Screen Actors Guild Award and was nominated for three Oscar awards.
Katherine was the only person alive among her cohort to appear onstage with the cast at the Academy Awards ceremony. She lived long to see the film release and even commented on her own portrayal. “I was not that aggressive”—she said.
She received a standing ovation and immense camera flashes and media coverage in the month of February. This aroused the interest of the media in the characters of her life portrayed in the film. This was the major reason why James came into the spotlight as well.
By then, she had become the best-known member of her formerly unknown cohort. Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility also caused a roar in 2017. In addition to that, she released an autobiography “Reaching for the moon” written by herself three years back.
All of these exposures had repeated mention of her first husband James. This was the reason why James has been in limelight after sixty-four years of his death.
James Francis Goble charity
From the days when James was alive, the family always attended Carver Presbyterian Church where they voluntarily sang choirs for more than fifty years. Together James and Katherine led their family to live a Christian life.
It was sure a difficult time when being a person of color was discriminatory, and so was being a female. The African American women faced double discrimination as they were segregated from males in dining, bathroom, and workplace.
James’s wife has also contributed as a member of the alpha kappa alpha sorority group since her university days. This sorority group was established by African American women for the welfare and uplifting of similar women in different aspects like academics and sports.
The time was only the starting days of computers when James died. He could not have that many pictures of him taken. However, he has been very popular on social media because his wife passed away this February.
Famous Katherine passed away after having great popularity through a movie based on her life. Statements have been addressed by important personalities like NASA administrator James Bridenstine. This has made James a highlight in social media of celebrities these days.
James’s death and deathbed
His wife was hired in NASA in 1953. Three years after she got hired, James left this world. It was a difficult situation for Katherine. She was stuck in between a serious job and a seriously sick husband fighting a fatal disease. His family spent time these years in treatment and hope.
James was fighting his cancer and had a tough time in his last breath. The unfailing support of his family was the only hope he could have relied on in his last days. At the young age of 43, he took his last breath on December 20, 1956.
He lies in the graveyard of 520 Shell Road, Hampton, Hampton City County, Virginia 23661, United States. His wife has been buried near him in the same Pleasant Shade Cemetery. His family was with him till his last breath and took good care of him.
He lived his life as a family man. If anything, he was remembered by his family as a supportive partner, a positive person, a loyal husband, and a beloved dad. Though he was sick, he died a happy man.