Even More Astonishing Women
Augusta Ada King (Ada Lovelace)
(10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852) was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognized as the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine. Because of this, she is often regarded as the first computer programmer.
Maria Gaetana Agnesi
(16 May 1718 – 9 January 1799) was an Italian mathematician and philosopher. She was the first woman to write a mathematics handbook and the first woman appointed as a Mathematics Professor at a University. Mathematician who figured out the formula for the bell shaped curve still used today.
(born 800- died 880) was an Arab Muslim woman who is credited for founding The University of Al Quaraouiyine in Fes, Morocco in 859 CE. The madrasa (a college for Islamic instruction) she founded is still in operation today. It is the oldest continually operating educational institution in the world and is sometimes referred to as the world’s oldest university, though it did not officially become a university until the 1950s. The mosque is also still in operation, and is one of the largest in North Africa.
(November 24, 1886 – October 19, 1973) was the American founder, editor and publisher of the art and literary magazine The Little Review, which published a collection of modern American, English and Irish writers between 1914 and 1929. The periodical is most noted for introducing many prominent American and British writers of the 20th century, such as Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot in the United States, and publishing the first thirteen chapters of James Joyce’s then-unpublished novel, Ulysses.
(5 May 1921 – 12 November 2013), was an English code-breaker at Bletchley Park during World War II. Her work was one of the keys to the success of D-Day. In December 1941 she broke a message between Belgrade and Berlin that enabled Dilly Knox’s team to work out the wiring of the Abwehr Enigma, an Enigma machine previously thought to be unbreakable. While at Bletchley Park she met Keith Batey, a mathematician and fellow codebreaker whom she married in 1942.
(nee Craddock) – (26 March 1633 – 1699) was an English portrait painter. She became one of the most important portrait painters of 17th-century England, and is described as the first professional female English painter. Her portrait of Rachel Carew smiling so impressed Daphne du Maurier whilst at Antony House Plymouth that it formed an inspiration for her novel My Cousin Rachel.
Aphra Behn (nee Johnson)
(14 December 1640– 16 April 1689). A British playwright, poet, translator and fiction writer from the Restoration era. As one of the first English women to earn her living by her writing, she broke cultural barriers and served as a literary role model for later generations of women authors.
(3 February 1821 – 31 May 1910) – A British-born medical practitioner and the first woman to graduate medical school. She opened the New York Infirmary for Women and Children after much objection. A pioneer in promoting the education of women in medicine in the United States, and a social and moral reformer in both the United States and in the United Kingdom.
(22 September 1878 – 11 May 1971) was an Anglo-Irish journalist and aviator who, in 1910–11, became one of the first women in the world to design, build, and fly an aircraft.
(August 19, 1909 – May 13, 2013) was a psychoanalyst in Los Angeles, California, who maintained an active practice when she was over 100 years old. She saw patients four days a week at age 102.
She studied at the University of Vienna. Bolgar was one of the last living psychologists to have attended Freud’s lectures in Vienna. She received an Outstanding Oldest Worker Award in 2011 in Washington D.C. at age 102.
Harriet Boyd (Hawes)
(October 11, 1871 – March 31, 1945) was a pioneering American archaeologist, nurse and relief worker. She is best known as the first director of an archaeological excavation to discover and excavate a Minoan settlement and palace site on the Aegean island of Crete. In 1920, the Hawes’ moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts and Harriet joined the faculty at Wellesley College lecturing on Ancient Art.
Alice Bradley Sheldon
(August 24, 1915 – May 19, 1987) was an American science fiction author better known as James Tiptree Jr., a pen name she used from 1967 to her death. She was most notable for breaking down the barriers between writing perceived as inherently male” or “female”—it was not publicly known until 1977 that James Tiptree Jr. was a woman. From 1974 to 1977 she also used the pen name Raccoona Sheldon. “
(June 26, 1892 – March 6, 1973) – She was an American writer and novelist. As the daughter of missionaries, Buck spent most of her life before 1934 in China.The first writer to portray the ordinary lives of Chinese people for a Western audience. Her novel The Good Earth was the best-selling fiction book in the United States in 1931 and 1932 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1938, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
(December 20, 1911 – January 13, 2009) was an American writer of fiction. Grew up during the depression. After she turned 50 she wrote 23 books and some short stories. A past president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and of PEN, the worldwide association of writers, she was a National Book Award finalist three times, won an O. Henry Award.
Margaret Chase Smith
(December 14, 1897 – May 29, 1995) was an American politician. A member of the Republican Party, she served as a U.S Representative (1940-1949) and a U.S. Senator (1949-1973) from Maine. She was the first woman to serve in both houses of the United States Congress, and the first woman to represent Maine in either. A moderate Republican, she is best remembered for her 1950 speech, Declaration of Conscience
(Born: 1948) – born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, a town just 40 miles from the Mexican border. After earning two master’s degrees, Chávez went to work on her first novel, the draft of which was 1,200 pages. She and her editor whittled it down to 456 pages, and the resulting book, Face of an Angel, was published in 1994 to high critical acclaim. She grew up in a family that loved to tell stories, and she acknowledges her roots in the oral storytelling tradition, calling herself a “performance writer.”
Helen Churchill Candee
(October 5, 1858 – August 23, 1949) was an American author, journalist, interior decorator, feminist, and geographer. Today, she is best known as a survivor of the sinking of RMS Titanic in 1912, and for her later work as a travel writer and explorer of southeast Asia.
Lucretia Coffin Mott
(January 3, 1793 – November 11, 1880) was an American Quaker, abolitionist, a women’s rights activist, and a social reformer. She helped write the Declaration of Sentiments during the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention.
Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson
(born August 26, 1918) is an American physicist, space scientist, and mathematician. She made fundamental contributions to the United States’ aeronautics and space programs with the early application of digital electronic computers at NASA. Known for accuracy in computerized celestial navigation, her technical leadership work at NASA spanned decades where she calculated the trajectories, launch windows and emergency back-up return paths for many flights from Project Mercury including the early NASA missions of John Glenn, Alan Shepard, the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon and continued work through the Space Shuttle program and on early plans for the Mission to Mars.
(28 January 1873 – 3 August 1954) – She was a French novelist nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. She is best known for her novel Gigi, upon which Lerner and Loewe based the stage and film musical comedies of the same title. First woman in French history to be given a state funeral.