Gladys West: The History of GPS
While preparing a bio for a sorority reunion function, 87 year old Gladys West made an off-the-cuff comment about her career at the naval base in Dalhgren, Virginia in the 1950s and 1960s. Her fellow sorority sister was so impressed that she reached out to the press to share Gladys's story. Even though she had known her for 15 years, she had no idea that Gladys had helped to create modern day GPS technology.
Her contributions during her 42 year career earned her a commendation in 1979 and the following comment from a former officer at the the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division.
As a Richmond, Virginia native and daughter of field laborers, Gladys is amazed at how her technology has evolved into a widely known and useful system. “When you’re working every day, you’re not thinking, ‘What impact is this going to have on the world?’ You’re thinking, ‘I’ve got to get this right.’”