Even More Astonishing Women
Hill-Murphyis about as far removed from the stereotypical rugged Viking explorer as is humanly possible. But she has not only travelled to the world’s’ most inhospitable places, in doing so she’s retraced the steps of some little-known – but no less extraordinary – women, who were blazing a trail 300 years ago.
(1885 Oct 27 – 1948 Mar 24) was a Swedish modernist painter who painted at least 500 paintings, sketches and drawings. She participated in 106 exhibitions. She was reviled sometimes for her extreme uses of color and revered for the same reason. She believed color achieved the greatest expressiveness. She studied in France with Matisse. She married Isaac Grunewald, had one son. Her art exposes her different stages of development. She suffered from psychosomatic ailments.
Lucy Hobbs Taylor
(1833 Mar 14 – 1910 Oct 3) was the first woman dentist. At 16, she graduated from school, began teaching in Michigan and studying medicine. Denied entry into Eclectic Medical School, Lucy studied privately with the dean of Ohio College of Dental Surgery. She opened her own practices in Ohio and Iowa. Finally admitted to the Ohio School of Dental Surgery, while there, Lucy met and married and then taught her husband, James, who also became a dentist. In Kansas they had a huge practice. After his death in 1886, Lucy retired and then campaigned for greater rights for women. She died in October, 1910. The American Association of Women Dentists now presents the Lucy Hobbs Taylor award in recognition of professional excellence and achievements in advancing the role of women in dentistry.
(1918 Nov 3 – 2007 Aug 21) became the second female Brigadier General in the US Army, two minutes after Ms. Hayes. She enlisted in the WAACs in 1942. Liz found a tough male sergeant to train her for leadership and command and when trying for OCS (Officer Candidate School), passed with flying colors. She was commissioned and deployed to Europe in ’43. Advancing through the ranks, she commanded WAC units in Japan, Germany and France until ’66. She became director of the WACs serving in Vietnam. Liz believed sending women to Nam would be controversial and deter progress in expanding the role of women in the Army. She retired in ’71. Liz appeared on “Dick Cavett” and “What’s My Line.” She passed in 2007 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Elizabeth Holloway Marston
(February 20, 1893 – March 27, 1993) was an American psychologist. She was involved in various ways in the creation of the comic book character Wonder Woman in the early 1940s with her husband, William Moulton Marston (pen name Charles Moulton). She also participated with Marston in the development of the systolic blood-pressure test used to detect deception.
(1926 Apr 24 – 1965 Jul 4) – Lisa was acting on a soap when she decided to become a news reporter. As the first female news reporter at ABC Lisa met, interviewed and became intimate with Fidel Castro. She was the first woman to host her own national news show but her politics got her fired. Depression ensued and a miscarriage led to her suicide. She left behind two daughters.
Laura and Maude Howe
Laura Howe Richards (1850 Feb 27 – 1943 Jan 14) and Maude Howe Elliott (1854 Nov 9 – 1948 Mar 19) were sisters, authors
and daughters of Julia Ward Howe. Laura wrote over 90 books; Maud was a patron of the arts and founded the Newport
Arts Association; they won a Pulitzer for their collaborative book, The Life of Julia Ward Howe; art and artists were
essential to their lives.
(27 March 1866 – 15 December 1945) founded the International Deserts Conservation League and worked with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration to establish the Joshua Tree National Monument, as well as helping preserve parts of Death Valley and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
In 1660, a professional female actress appeared on the English stage in a production of Othello. It’s one of the earliest known instances of a female role actually being played by a woman in an English production. Up until this time, women were considered too fine and sensitive for the rough life of the theater, and boys or men dressed in drag to play female characters. An earlier attempt to form co-ed theater troupes was met with jeers and hisses and thrown produce. But by the second half of the 17th century, the King’s Company felt that London society could handle it. Before the production, a lengthy disclaimer in iambic pentameter was delivered to the audience, warning them that they were about to see an actual woman in the part. This was, the actor explained, because they felt that men were just too big and burly to play the more delicate roles, With bone so large and nerve so incompliant / When you call Desdemona enter giant.”
(1895 Oct 17 – 1958 Dec 29) was a preeminent dancer who began in Chicago, and due to rough times, in 1918, opened her own dance school. She taught classic, gymnastic and ballroom dance to children and young adults. Four years later, Doris moved to LA to study with Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn. After ten years, she moved to NYC to create more nuanced, expressionistic modern dance. A dynamic, technique via extreme falling and recovery, (lithe, fluid movement), became Doris’s signature style. She used all movements, all sounds in her pieces. She retired at 44 due to arthritis but became artistic director of the Jose Limon Company. She was part of the Federal Dance Program and, on the faculty of Juilliard and Bennington.
(born 1973 Mar 15), is the founder and designer of Funomena. Robin is working on her PhD in Artificial Intelligence. Currently, a professor of game design at UC Santa Cruz. Robin researches dynamic difficulty adjustment, and how the notions of fate, meaning and consequence can be communicated via video games. Designer and producer: Electronic Arts (MySims), thatgamecompany (Journey), Tiny Speck (Glitch). Robin and Martin Middleton co-founded Funomena. that supports independent game development, experimentation in game design, and the advocacy of women within the games industry. She also organizes and teaches at video games industry conferences and events: She was chosen for “Gamasutra’s 20,” “honoring the Top 20 women working in the video game industry.”
(1591–1643) Religious protestor and founder of Rhode Island. A Puritan spiritual adviser and a mother of 15. Her strong religious convictions were at odds with the established Puritan clergy in the Boston area, and her popularity and charisma helped create a theological schism that threatened to destroy the Puritans’ religious experiment in New England. She was eventually tried and convicted, then banished from the colony.
Noor Inayat Khan
(1914 Jan 1 – 1944 Sept 13) was the first female radio operator sent into Nazi-occupied France. She was of Indian and American descent and Muslim. She escaped to England after the fall of France in 1940. Noor signed up with the WAAF. In ’42, she was recruited to join the SOE (Special Ops). Although her trainers were not sure of her abilities, they believed in her utter commitment to defeating Germany. During this time, the life span of an operator was 6 weeks. Noor left for France in June, 1943. By September, 1944 she had been caught, shackled, tortured, shot and killed. In 1949, Noor was posthumously awarded the George Cross, and became England’s first Muslim heroine of WWII. I
(1911 Oct 26 – 1972 Jan 27) was born in New Orleans. Working as a maid at five, Mahalia would be beaten if the house was not “white glove” clean. She moved to Chicago at 15 and began singing and touring with the Johnson Gospel Singers. Her recording of “Move On Up a Little Higher,” sold eight million copies, astonishing in 1947. In 1950, she became the first gospel singer at Carnegie Hall. Mahalia toured Europe, cut albums, had her own radio series, and criticized for bringing “jazz” into the church. In the 60’s, she sang at Kennedy’s inaugural ball, joined Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout his early marches, sang at King’s funeral and contributed financially to the movement.
Mae Carol Jemison
(born October 17, 1956) is an American physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African-American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992. After medical school and a brief general practice, Jemison served in the Peace Corps from 1985 until 1987, when she was selected by NASA to join the astronaut corps. She resigned from NASA in 1993 to found a company researching the application of technology to daily life. She has appeared on television several times, including as an actress in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. She is a dancer and holds nine honorary doctorates in science, engineering, letters, and the humanities. She is the current principal of the 100 Year Starship organization.
(15 November 1968 – 15 September 2016) was a much-honored physicist who created and explored matter that exists only at a sliver of a degree above absolute zero — or minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit. She received a MacArthur Genius award and was the second-youngest woman ever to be introduced into the National Academy of Sciences.
Mamie “Peanut” Johnson
(1935 Sept 27 – 2017 Dec 18), was the first female pitcher in the Negro Leagues. Slider, circle changeup, curveball, screwball and knuckleball—Mamie could throw them all. She got pointers from Satchel Paige. She played for the Kansas City Clowns and had a batting average of .262 to .284. Mamie struck out the male ballplayer who thought she was a little bitty thing, calling her a peanut. The nickname stuck! After retiring, a 30-year nursing career and in 2005, she was honored at the Clinton White House as a female baseball legend.
(1936–1996) – Barbara Jordan was a U.S. congressional representative from Texas and was the first African American congresswoman to come from the Deep South. She captured the attention of President Lyndon Johnson, who invited her to the White House for a preview of his 1967 civil rights message.
(born 1962 Mar 3) was voted by Sports Illustrated as the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century. She overcame severe
asthma to compete and she became Time magazine’s Athlete of the Year (1988). She has won 8 gold medals in the Olympic, World Championship and Pan American Games. In 1987, in Indianapolis, Jackie jumped 24 feet and 5¼ inches. The Jesse Owens Award added the Jackie Joyner Kersee award, given to the female USATF “athlete of the year.” Jackie has established the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation that provides athletic lessons and resources; and Athletes for Hope, that inspires millions of athletes and non-athletes to volunteer and support their community.
(April 7, 1882 – November 15, 1965), was credited as the “color supervisor” of virtually all Technicolor feature films made from 1934 to 1949. She was married to Technicolor founder Herbert T. Kalmus from July 23, 1902 to June 22, 1922, and they continued to live together until 1944. While Technicolor was still in its infancy, Natalie Kalmus recognized its potential and took it upon herself to spread the word. She traveled extensively in the United States and Europe, conducting courses for art directors and technicians interested in learning the new color process. In 1932, she put together the first business package designed to “sell” color to the Hollywood studios. The package was intended to take the studio from preto post-production and included everything from equipment to personnel, all overseen by Kalmus on site. After laying out the color plan for a movie, she then provided an entire color consulting service, including the camera designed to handle the color process, a trained camera operator, set and wardrobe designers, makeup artists, lighting designers, and lab processing. “Until 1948,” writes Marc Wanamaker, “her name was required to appear as ‘Color Consultant’ on every motion picture made by the company.”