Even More Astonishing Women
(born Araminta Ross; c. 1822 – March 10, 1913) was an American abolitionist, humanitarian, and an armed scout and spy for the United States Army during the American Civil War. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved families and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as theUnderground Railroad. She later helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era was an active participant in the struggle for women’s suffrage.
(1761 Dec – 1850 Apr 16), best known today as Madame Tussaud and her world-famous wax museum. Working as a housekeeper, Marie learned the art of sculpting wax from her employer, Dr. Curtius, a physician. They moved to Paris and during the French Revolution, she made death masks of prominent guillotined aristocrats, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Her own life became threatened. She fled to England with her youngest son. With her tools, Paris death masks and new wax works, she toured England for the next 33 years. Marie opened her own shop on Baker Street in 1838. She died in 1850. Her museum became one of the most visited attractions in the world.
Marie Van Brittan Brown
(1922 Oct 30 – 1999 Feb 2); she worked odd hours in Queens, a tough neighborhood. The cops took forever to come in an emergency. Marie and her husband invented the home security system (with remote control and closed-circuit cameras) in 1966. Her design made her feel safe. Fifty years later, 100 million closed-circuit cameras are operated worldwide.
(January 9, 1948) is an Italian woman who became famous in the 1960s in Italy for refusing a “rehabilitating marriage” (“matrimonio riparatore” in Italian) with her victimiser after suffering kidnapping and rape. She was one of the first Italian women who had been raped to publicly refuse to marry her rapist. Instead, she and her family successfully appealed to the law to prosecute the rapist.
Hildegard von Bingen
composer, medical doctor, mystic, polymath. (1098 – 17 September 1179), also known as Saint Hildegard and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, and polymath. Hildegard was elected magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136. One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama and arguably the oldest surviving morality play.
Baroness Bertha von Suttner
(9 June 1843 – 21 June 1914) was the first woman to be awarded the Peace Prize. An Austrian-Bohemian, she was a pacifist and novelist, known as “generalissimo of the peace movement”, and as a close friend of Alfred Nobel, many give her credit for Nobel’s establishment of the Peace Prize in his will.
(30 August 1912 – 7 August 2011) – served as a British Special Operations Executive agent during the later part of World War II. She became a leading figure in the maquis groups of the French Resistance and was one of the Allies‘ most decorated servicewomen of the war. After the fall of France in 1940, she became a courier for the French Resistance and later joined the escape network of Captain Ian Garrow. By 1943, Wake was the Gestapo‘s most wanted person, with a 5 million-franc price on her head.
(1970 – ) is an advocate for sex workers across Kenya. She founded Life Bloom Services International, an organization with a mission to offer alternatives for women who once worked on the streets.
Julia Ward Howe
(/haʊ/; May 27, 1819 – October 17, 1910) was an American poet and author, best known for writing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic“. She was also an advocate for abolitionism and was a social activist, particularly for women’s suffrage.
Elizabeth Ann Warren
(born June 22, 1949) is an American academic and politician. She is a member of the Democratic Party, and is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts. Warren was formerly a professor of law, and taught at the University of Texas School of Law, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and most recently at Harvard Law School. A prominent scholar specializing in bankruptcy law, Warren was among the most cited in the field of commercial law before starting her political career.
Gloria Jean Watkins (or Bell Hooks)
(born September 25, 1952) is an American social activist, feminist and author. Through a postmodern perspective, hooks has addressed race, class, and gender in education, art, history, sexuality, mass media and feminism. She has published over thirty books and numerous scholarly and mainstream articles, appeared in several documentary films, and participated in various public lectures.
Martha Beatrice Webb
(née Potter; 22 January 1858 – 30 April 1943)Baroness Passfield, was an English sociologist, economist, socialist, labour historian and social reformer. It was Webb who coined the term collective bargaining”. She was among the founders of the London School of Economics and played a crucial role in forming the Fabian Society.”
Carrie Mae Weems
(20 April 1953 – ) is an American photographer, whose work focuses on serious issues that face African Americans today, particularly African American women. Her work has been exhibited at major museums internationally and she has received many awards, including the MacArthur Genius grant.
(born 1975 Oct 16) is a retired basketball star, an attorney, and one of the first athletes to engage and empower young women of color. Her program, Stanford (her alma mater) Athletic Alliance pairs young women from East Palo Alto with players from Stanford’s Women’s Basketball team for mentoring/academic sessions. Another, “hoopin’ with jamila,” offers young gals incarcerated in the juvenile system in LA creative alternatives. The program was so successful, she was honored by Nike and their “Most Caring Athlete” award. She is the daughter of a black, two-time, PEN/Faulkner writing-award author and a Jewish attorney. Jamila participated in the Connecticut Forum with Anita Hill, Spike Lee, Bill Russell and Stanley Crouch to talk about race. With two family members in prison, she believes that we are all more than what we do. Jamila works at The Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn.
Margaret A. Wilcox
(born 1838 – ?) – you know why you’re warm in your car? Because Margaret A. Wilcox, one of the first, female mechanical engineers, invented the car heater. She got her first patent on November 23, 1893. She also invented a bake pan, a clothes and dishwasher and her second car heater patent (with a collaborator) in 1905.
(1844 September – 1893) was the only documented African American woman who served as a soldier in the Regular U.S. Army in the nineteenth century, disguising her gender and enlisting as William Cathay. During the Indian Wars, Williams is also the only known female Buffalo Solider.
Mary Lou Williams
(born Mary Elfrieda Scruggs; May 8, 1910 – May 28, 1981) was an African-American jazz pianist, composer, and vocalist. She wrote hundreds of compositions and arrangements, and recorded more than one hundred records (in 78, 45, and LP versions). Williams wrote and arranged for such bandleaders as Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, and she was friend, mentor, and teacher to Thelonious Monk,Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Tadd Dameron, Dizzy Gillespie, and many others.
(31 May 1912 – 16 February 1997) was a Chinese-American nuclear physicist, also known as “the First Lady of Physics”. She contributed to the Manhattan Project and made history with an experiment that disproved the hypothetical law of conservation of parity.
(1907 Oct 22 – 1997 Apr 3) was a 20th century painter who at three contracted polio. It gnarled her right hand, but she learned to drew with her left hand and paint with her right. Homeschooled by her father, N.C. Wyeth until 11, she enrolled in the Normal Arts School in Boston. She went to Boston Museum of Arts Academy and Penn. Academy of Arts in Philadelphia (where she met Peter Hurd, a student who had worked with her father). A prodigy, Henriette was commissioned for portraits at 16. At 21, she married Peter. They moved to New Mexico, had three children (she never stopped painting), established the Sentinel Ranch and Wyeth Hurd Gallery and continued with celebrity portrait commissions. She exhibited all over the US. Henriette received numerous awards and is considered one of the greatest women artists of the 20th century.
The story goes that Milly took a trip to Japan and was impressed with how clean the country was, the lack of litter and plastic that was tossed away that she was accustomed to in the U.S. That inspired her to figure out how to recycle plastics, when there was no system, no infrastructure, no market, no funding, no awareness, no public campaign, to do so. It all started in her small town of Sauk County, Wisconsin.