Even More Astonishing Women
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.”
(15 May 1894 – 28 February 1978) was an American photographer and writer who became well known for her photographs of African-Americans. Her photography was championed by Edward Steichen, who included her in The Family of Man exhibition in 1955 and her photographs are now in the permanent exhibitions of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Anna Louise Karsch
(1722 Dec 1 – 1791 Oct 12) was known as the German Sappho or “Die Karschin.” Anna was the first German woman to live from the proceeds of her own literary work.” She taught herself to read in secret as her stepfather thought her obsessed with books. Married at 16, she had 3 children. By that third pregnancy, she filed for the first divorce in Prussia. She then married a drunkard. Now a famous poetess, she used her influence to press him into military service, never to be seen again. Befriended by King Friedrich William II, he promised her a house and pension. After his death, she got just that. A poet to the end, she has been honored and commemorated throughout Germany.
Coretta Scott King
(27 April 1927 – 30 January 2006) was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement and wife of Martin Luther King, Jr.
(1936 Jan 5 – 2016 Jan 6) wrote a column, “the Misanthrope’s Corner,” for the National Review magazine. She described herself as a “conservative lesbian feminist!” She was also referred to as “the World’s Funniest Bisexual Republican.” After retiring in 2006, she came back to NR with a new column, “The Bent Pin.” Some quotes: “Hell hath no fury like a liberal arts major scorned.” from Lump It or Leave It; from “Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady, “in the South, Sunday morning sex is always accompanied by church bells.” and “I don’t suffer fools and I like to see fools suffer.”
Dr. Mary-Claire King
( February 27, 1946) is the American Cancer Society Professor of Genome Sciences and of Medical Genetics in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington. She studies human genetics and is particularly interested in genetic heterogeneity and complex traits. King is known for three major accomplishments: demonstrating that humans and chimpanzees are 99% genetically identical; identifying breast cancer genes; and applying genomic sequencing to identify victims of human rights abuses.
(1909 Oct 14 – 1997 Sept 26) wrote the screenplay to “Girl Crazy,” “Bathing Beauty,” “Kiss Me Kate” and “Angels in the
Outfield”. Me either. Brought in as a “script doctor” Dorothy was often uncredited or her name was made minimal. When Harry Cohn was having a spat with Frank Sinatra over “Pal Joey” Dorothy was brought in to “fix” the synopsis, did such a great job that Frankie said okay and then agreed to do “Can-Can” as well. Dorothy left Hollywood after 1969 and with her second husband Wm. Durney for Carmel where they started the Durney Vineyard. Planting in 1968, their first wines were produced in 1976. She had 6 kids.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
(1896 Aug 8 – 1953 Dec 14) was a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist. Marjorie spent time in Wisconsin, Florida, New York, Washington and a few sojourns to Europe. The Yearling, her award-winning novel provided her with fame and wealth and established a writing style for young adults not seen before.
(1838 Feb 14 – 1914 Oct 12) was the most famous 19th-century female inventor. She invented the paper bag with a flat bottom, as well as lid-removing pliers, a numbering machine, a window frame and sash, device and devices relating to rotary engines. She held 27 patents. Her original bag-making machine is in the Smithsonian.
Bertha Knight Landes
(1868 Oct 19 – 1943 Nov 29) was the first female mayor of a major U.S. city – Seattle.
(1083 Dec 1 – 1153) was a Byzantine princess, betrothed at birth, she married young. He died, so a new boy was chosen. Ambitious, Anna plotted to depose her much younger brother and take the throne for her husband. He disavowed the plot. He died. She was sent to a convent and wrote The Alexiad, a florid but historical account of her father, the emperor, his reign and his engagement with the First Crusade. Used today to help define the attitudes of the time. Byzantium bureaucracy promoted education to men and women. Their economy thrived and lives flourished.
(1894 Nov 6 – 1967 May 15) was the first woman pilot to race with men. She taught young Navy cadets to fly for the war effort in 1942.
(July 31, 1923 – June 18, 2014) In 1965, Stephanie Kwolek made an unexpected discovery that led to the creation of synthetic fibers so strong, not even steel bullets could penetrate them. During her analysis of long molecule chains at low temperatures, Kwolek observed how polyamide molecules line up to form liquid crystalline polymer solutions of exceptional strength and stiffness. That discovery made way for Kwolek’s invention of industrial fibers that today protect and save thousands of lives. Most notable among these is Kevlar, a heat-resistant material that’s five times stronger than steel, but lighter than fiberglass.
For her discovery, Kwolek was awarded the DuPont company’s Lavoisier Medal for outstanding technical achievement. As of February 2015, she was the only female employee to have received that honor. In 1995 she became the fourth woman to be added to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Kwolek won numerous awards for her work in polymer chemistry, including the National Medal of Technology, the IRI Achievement Award and the Perkin Medal.
Today, Kevlar is used in hundreds of products, including bulletproof vests, spacecrafts, helmets, tennis racquets, tires, and protective gloves.
(1764 Dec 3 – 1847 May 20) wrote children’s books, stabbed her mother to death while suffering a nervous breakdown, suffered from mental illness for the remainder of her life while presiding over literary salons in London with her brother, Charles (her writing partner and collaborator) and other notables—William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Hazlitt. Realizing she could earn a living as a writer, Mary wrote Poems for Children, Mrs. Leicester’s School and Tales from Shakespeare (Shakespeare’s writings adapted for children). Her brother Charles and Mary vowed to care for one another for the remainder of their lives. Finally, at her end, she had deteriorated to what today would be referred to as dementia, Alzheimer’s, possibly schizophrenia.
(26 May 1895 – 11 October 1965) Her images of Depression-era America made her one of the most acclaimed documentary photographers of the 20th century. She is remembered above all for revealing the plight of sharecroppers, displaced farmers and migrant workers in the 1930s, and her portrait of Florence Owens Thompson, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California(1936), has become an icon of the period.
(July 22, 1849 – November 19, 1887) was an American poet born in New York City.
She is best known for “The New Colossus” a sonnet written in 1883; its lines appear inscribed on a bronze plaque in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty installed in 1903 a decade and a half after Lazarus’s death.
(born 1949 Oct 2) in Waterbury, Connecticut, is currently considered one of the greatest portrait photographers in the world. In 1973 she began work for “Rolling Stone” magazine. Ten years later she’d shot 142 covers. She went on to “Vanity Fair” and “Vogue” shooting award-winning campaigns and collaborating with ABT, BAM, Mark Morris, Mikhail Baryshnikow and
more. She had her first kid at 52. With a surrogate, she had twins. She lived with Susan Sontag from 1989 until Susan’s death in 2004.