Even More Astonishing Women
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.
(17 February 1906 – 25 July 1996) was a Puerto Rican educator and revolutionary. She helped organize the Daughters of Freedom, the women’s branch of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party in 1931, and was a leader in the Jayuya Uprising against the United States in 1950. Brought to trial after the uprising, she was accused of killing a police officer and burning down the post office, and was sentenced to sixty years in prison. However, after seventeen years she was fully pardoned by the Puerto Rican governor. She continued to be an advocate for justice until her death.
(1 February 1921 – 10 January 2016) was one of the highest ranking and most honored women at the code breaking National Security Agency after a career extending from World War II through much of the Cold War. She was the first woman to serve as deputy director of the NSA. Among top federal honors she received were the Defense Department’s Distinguished Civilian Service Award and the National Security Medal.
(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.
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.
Catharine Trotter Cockburn
(16 August 1679 – 11 May 1749) was an English playwright, essayist, poet, and philosopher. She was one of the earliest defenders of John Locke’s ‘Essay Concerning Human Understanding.’ In a time when Locke was seen as a dangerous innovator, Cockburn’s ‘Defence’ was remarkable not only for the fact that it was written by a young woman of 22, but also for its confidence, clarity, and precision. She is also known for her feminist writings, and had her first novel published when she was 14 years old.
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.
(24 December 1858 – 1943) invented a fire escape that was patented in 1887 and led to the first building codes ever established in New York City. She was one of the first women to register a patent for an invention after the Civil War, when women were finally allowed to file patents for themselves.
Alma Cota de Yanez
(1963) is director of FESAC Nogales, an organization similar to a community foundation in the border town of Nogales, Sonora. Cota de Yanez calls herself “optimistic to death” as she describes how Nogales has developed since she arrived, thanks to public-private collaboration to clean up the city and strengthen social services. Alma has overseen FESAC becoming the local leader in mobilizing resources and education in philanthropy for donors (individual and corporate), government agencies and NGOs. FESAC works to promote civil society, philanthropy, culture and a NGO network.
Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten (née Neville)
(née Neville) (January 5, 1893 – June 29, 1987) was an American blues and folk musician, singer, and songwriter.
A self-taught left-handed guitarist, Cotten developed her own original style. Her approach involved using a right-handed guitar (usually in standard tuning), not restrung for left-handed playing, essentially holding a right-handed guitar upside down. This position required her to play the bass lines with her fingers and the melody with her thumb. Her signature alternating bass style has become known as Cotten picking”.
(24 October 1868 – 8 September 1969)
Olympe de Gouges
(7 May 1748 – 3 November 1793), born Marie Gouze, was a French playwright and political activist whose feminist and abolitionist writings reached a large audience. She began her career as a playwright in the early 1780s. As political tension rose in France, she became an outspoken advocate for improving the condition of slaves in the colonies of 1788. Made the argument that if sexes were to be treated equal they deserve to share property.