Even More Astonishing Women
Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler
(1831 Feb 8 – 1895 Mar 9) was the first African-American woman in the United States to receive her Doctor of Medicine degree. The only African-American woman to graduate from what became Boston University. Rebecca was born in 1831, raised by an aunt in Pennsylvania. After graduating medical college, Rebecca wrote a book of her experiences, A Book of Medical Discourses (1883).
(1925 Oct 21 – 2003 Jul 16) was known as the Queen of Salsa. Cuban, with 23 gold albums, unfaltering vocals, flashy costumes and hair, Grammys, movie cameos, star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Fania All Stars, American National Medal of the Arts, thrills for 40 years. Maybe the most popular salsa performers of all time. She enrolled at the Nat’l Teachers’ College, and then dropped out for the Havana National Conservatory of Music. Quits and sings and tours with Sonora Matancera. Left Cuba for good for the US. A citizen in ’61, Castro barred her from ever returning to Cuba. With Tito Puente, her career skyrocketed.
Susan Jane Cunningham
(1842 Mar 23 – 1921 Jan 24) was one of a conglomerate who founded and developed Swarthmore College. Susan studied mathematics and astronomy at Vassar, Harvard, Princeton, Cambridge, the Greenwich Observatory in England and Williams College. In 1869, along with Quakers and abolitionists, she founded and was head of the mathematics and astronomy departments at Swarthmore. Susan planned and equipped the Cunningham Observatory, (no longer used) and lived there until 1906. After retirement, Susan joined the New York Mathematical Society and was a member of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and the British Astronomical Association.
(24 October 1868 – 8 September 1969)
Isabelle de Charriere
(1740 Oct 20 – 1805 Dec 27) (nee Belle van Zuylen) was a Dutch writer of the Enlightenment. Her noble family provided a superior life. At 31, Belle married her brother’s tutor. She published pamphlets, translations and novels. She wrote plays and musical works. Belle maintained on-going and often intimate correspondences with several men (James Boswell, Constant d’Hermenches, (the Swiss Don Juan)), unusual for the times, and of breathless interest to the nobility. During the French Revolution, Belle befriended a number of fleeing nobles, but also published works criticizing the attitudes of the aristocratic refugees, most of whom she felt had learned nothing from the Revolution. In 1991, an asteroid was named in her
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.
Jane Arminda Delano
(1862 Mar 13 – 1919 Apr 15) was a nurse and founder/coordinator of the American Red Cross Nursing Service. Jane was gaga for nursing. She studied at Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing in New York City. She treated victims of yellow fever. She cared for typhoid patients. She innovated hospital procedures and skills. In 1909, as Superintendent of the U.S. Army Nurses Corps, she established the emergency response teams (first responders today) that organized for disaster relief and readiness. By 1917, the US entered World War I, and more than 20,000 of her nurses served in the US military. In 1919, while in France, Jane Delano died. Jane was returned to the United States and buried in the nurses section of Arlington National
Cemetery. A bronze memorial stands to Jane and her nurses. In 1920, she was posthumously awarded the Red Cross Distinguished Service Medal.
Marjorie Stoneman Douglas
(April 27, 1906 – May 6, 1983) was an African-American journalist, civil rights activist and author. Dunnigan was the first African-American female correspondent to receive White House credentials, and the first black female member of the Senate and House of Representatives press galleries. She wrote an autobiography entitled Alice A. Dunnigan: A Black Woman’s Experience. She also has a Kentucky State Historical Commission marker dedicated to her.
Alice chronicled the decline of Jim Crow during the 1940s and 1950s, which influenced her to become a civil rights activist. She was inducted into the Kentucky Hall of Fame in 1982.
During her time as a reporter, she became the first black journalist to accompany a president while traveling, covering Harry S. Truman’s 1948 campaign trip.
(15 January 1824 – 3 February 1847). Her father forced her into prostitution around the age of 13 in order to bring in money for the family. She was a French courtesan and mistress to a number of prominent and wealthy men. Much of what is known about her has been derived from the literary persona and contemporary legends. She has been the inspiration for many books, plays, and films.
(1905 Oct 23 – 2003 Nov 30) was the first woman to swim the English Channel. Born in Manhattan, Trudy learned to swim in Highlands, New Jersey. At 12, Trudy joined the Women’s Swimming Association and set her first world record. At the 1924 Summer Olympics, Trudy won a gold medal (relay) and 2 bronzes, (freestyle). She decided to swim professionally. She made her way to France to try for the English Channel. Everyone said women could not do it. Her first try was disqualified because her coach thought she was drowning. She wasn’t and got a new coach. The next year, 1926, she swam the Channel in 14 hours, 34 minutes. A record. A ticker tape parade in New York. That record held until 1950. Partially deaf from childhood, Trudy wound up teaching deaf kids how to swim.
(1768 Jan 1 – 1849 May 22) was an Anglo-Irish writer Maria was one of 22 children. She used family behavior to
provide characters in her stories. This gave an immediacy to her work, especially her children’s stories, unseen
since Shakespeare’s time. Not preachy, but patient; not moralizing but amusing. She particularly wanted her
writing to have a galvanizing effect on women to participate in all aspects of life, politics, finances, and social
issues. Maria was not out to instruct but to inspire.
Gertrude Belle Elion
(January 23, 1918 – February 21, 1999) was an American biochemist and pharmacologist, who shared the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with George H. Hitchings and Sir James Black. Working alone as well as with Hitchings and Black, Elion developed a multitude of new drugs, using innovative research methods that would later lead to the development of the AIDS drug AZT.
Betty Evans Grayson
(1925 Oct 9 – 1979 Jul 9) was a first-rate fast-pitch pitcher. Betty started playing at 11. At 13, her manager, Erv Lind, told her she could pitch. Her dad helped train her. Betty pitched the Erv Lind Florists Pomeroy team to the ASA Nat’l Title in Women’s Major Fastpitch and was named All-City in 1941, ’42 and ‘43. Betty played for the Chicago Queens in 1949. Named Women Athlete of the Year by the Oregon Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association. Betty compiled a 456-99 record with 51 no-hitters and three perfect games. She was inducted into the ASA Hall of Fame in 1959. She was 53 when she passed away. The Betty Evans Grayson Memorial Award is given every two years to a player 16-and-under for athleticism, academic achievement, and community involvement.
(born 1980 Oct 4) – at 19, Sarah became the youngest woman ever to qualify for the Indy 500. In 2002, she became the first women in North America to win the pole position for a major-league open-wheel race (at Kentucky Speedway), and the first woman in the 21st century to drive a Formula One car. In 2008, she became the first female owner/driver in IndyCar Series history to form and wholly own an IndyCar Series business (Sarah Fisher Racing).
(1928 Oct 5 – 1974 Nov 19) was the American author of “Harriet the Spy,” a children’s book that for the first time dealt with a girl who was a tomboy, a liar, an eavesdropper, different and utterly charming.” She dealt with sexuality and menstruation, was likely bisexual and had her art shown in galleries in NY. Unfortunately, Louise died at 46 of a brain aneurysm. A number of her books were published posthumously.
Annelies (Anne) Marie Frank
(June 12, 1929 – February or March 1945) was a German-born diarist. One of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust, she gained fame posthumously following the publication of The Diary of a Young Girl , in which she documents her life in hiding from 1942 to 1944, during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. It is one of the world’s most widely known books, translated into over 60 languages, and has been the basis for several plays and films.
(born Oslo, Norway, 12 November 1962) is a UK based journalist and television presenter, well known on British TV and radio, mainly for arts programmes. Her ‘gravelly’ voice was voted the sexiest female voice on TV was one of three voices (narrowed from fifty) best suited to contribute to a Post Office Telecoms study resulting in a perfect female voice”. Her voice is often used on TV commercials.”