Even More Astonishing Women
(1904 Jan 5 – 1995 Oct 31) played the violin, at five, for Emperor Franz Joseph. Thunderstruck by her talent, he asked what he could give the child. She asked for a doll whose eyes opened and shut. Erica studied first with her father, then at eight, with renowned teachers at the Vienna Conservatory. By 11, she gave her first concert. At 16, she began her first tour and trip to America (where she ultimately settled). Throughout her career, she complained of managerial narrow-mindedness and prejudice regarding women musicians. Erica retired in 1976, considered “the most bewitching violinist of the century.”
(October 5, 1877 – January 2, 1933) Belle was the political advisor to New York Governor and 1928 presidential candidate Al Smith. She met her second husband, Henry Moskowitz while working with him on the investigations that followed the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and her growing reputation led disputatious Garment District unions and employers to agree to her serving as arbitrator to hear workers’ grievances.
(born 1934 Oct 13) was one of the best-selling singers in the world. She watched movies with her father while he was a projectionist at the local cinema. She studied to be an opera singer but was barred from her Conservatoire end-of-year exams because she’d been seen singing jazz. She started singing at the Zaki club in Athens. She began recording in 1957 and by 1961 Nana was on her way. She worked with Manos Hadjidakis, Michel LeGrande, Quincy Jones, and many more. Nana speaks 7 languages and sings, predominantly, in Greek, French, German and English. She is a UNICEF ambassador and Member of the European Parliament.
Dame Jean Iris Murdoch DBE
(/ˈmɜːrdɒk/; 15 July 1919 – 8 February 1999) was an Irish novelist and philosopher, best known for her novels about good and evil, sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious. Her first published novel, Under the Net, was selected in 1998 as one of Modern Library’s 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. In 1987, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 2008, The Times ranked Murdoch twelfth on a list of The 50 greatest British writers since 1945″.”
(1868 Mar 14 – 1933 Oct 27) was the first female magistrate in Canada and the British Empire. In 1916, Emily persuaded the Alberta legislature to pass the Dower Act that would allow a woman legal rights to one third of her husband’s property.
Grace Brewster Murray Hopper
(December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992), née Grace Brewster Murray, was an American computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral. She was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer in 1944, invented the first compiler for a computer programming language, and was one of those who popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first high-level programming languages.
Owing to her accomplishments and her naval rank, she is sometimes referred to as “Amazing Grace“. The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) is named for her, as is the Cray XE6 “Hopper” supercomputer at NERSC.
(1851 Oct 19 – 1895 Oct 8) sided with the Progressive movement in Korea, promoted radical reforms (making ammunition, schools, newspapers, hospitals) and was assassinated by samurai as a result.
New England Female Medical College
First female medical college. It named among its graduates Rebecca Lee Crumper, the first African-American to earn a medical degree, which she did in 1864. Women such as Harriot Kezia Hunt had served as family physicians, but women were denied attendance at medical lectures and examinations. In 1847, Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to enroll in a United States medical school when she entered the Geneva Medical College.
Queen Anna Nzinga
(c. 1583 – December 17, 1663), also known as Njinga Mbande or Ana de Sousa Nzinga Mbande, was a 17th-century queen (muchino a muhatu) of the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms of the Mbundu people in Angola. She came to power as an ambassador after demonstrating a proclivity to tactfully diffuse foreign crisis, as she regained control of the Portuguese fortress of Ambaca. She assumed the powers of ruling in Ndongo after the suicide of her brother. Nzinga assumed control as regent of his young son, Kaza. Today, she is remembered in Angola for her political and diplomatic acumen, as well as her brilliant military tactics. A major street in Luanda is named after her, and a statue of her was placed in Kinaxixi on a square in 2002, dedicated by President Santos to celebrate the 27th anniversary of independence.
(born 15 December 1930) is an Irish novelist, memoirist, playwright, poet and short story writer. Philip Roth has described her “the most gifted woman now writing in English”, while former President of Ireland Mary Robinson has cited her as “one of the great creative writers of her generation.”
(1860–1926) She was an American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter. Her amazing talent” first came to light when the then 15-year-old won a shooting match with traveling show marksman Frank E. Butler (whom she married). The couple joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show a few years later. Oakley became a renowned international star
Yolande of Aragon
(11 August 1384 – 14 November 1442) – Yolande played a crucial role in the struggles between France and England, influencing events such as the financing of Joan of Arc‘s army in 1429 and tipping the balance in favour of the French. She was also known as Jolantha de Aragon and Violant d’Aragó. Tradition holds that she commissioned the famous Rohan Hours. Helped fund her war and had a lot of connections and spies throughout the land. “There is no more effective camouflage in history than to have been born a woman,” she said.
Saint Clair of Asisi
(July 16, 1194 – August 11, 1253) – born Chiara Offreduccio, is an Italian saint and one of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. She founded the Order of Poor Ladies, a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition, and wrote their Rule of Life—the first monastic rule known to have been written by a woman.
Saint Teresa of Ávila
(March 28, 1515 – October 4, 1582), was a prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite nun and author during the Counter Reformation, and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer. Her books, which include her autobiography (The Life of Teresa of Jesus) and her masterwork El Castillo Interior (The Interior Castle), are an integral part of Spanish Renaissance literature as well as Christian mysticism and Christian meditation practices.
Jullian of Norwich
(c. 8 November 1342 – c. 1416) – We do not know her real name or much about her life aside from her books. Important figure in Christianity. Published in 1395, her work, Revelations of Divine Love, is the first published book in the English language to be written by a woman. She was an English anchoress who is regarded as an important Christian mystic. She is venerated in the Anglican and Lutheran churches.
(born September 10, 1935) is an American poet who has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. The New York Times described her as “far and away, [America’s] best-selling poet”. She won the Christopher Award and the L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award for her piece House of Light (1990), and New and Selected Poems (1992) won the National Book Award.
Dame Katherine Ollerenshaw
(1912 Oct 1 – 2014 Aug 10) was a British mathematician, lecturer, educator and astronomer who loved “magic squares” (grids in which the numbers add up horizontally, vertically and diagonally to the same total). Her best-known work was Most Perfect Pandiagonal Magic Squares: Their Construction and Enumeration (1998), which she co-authored with David Bree. She served as lord mayor of Manchester and as a local counselor for more than 25 years. As a child recovering from a serious illness, she became deaf. She learned to lip read and at 30 got her first hearing aid. She believed that “mathematics is the one school subject not dependent on hearing,” so pursued math, won scholarships and went to Oxford. Working at the Shirley Institute, she met and married Robert Ollerenshaw.
La Belle Otero
(1868 Nov 4 – 1965 Apr 12) was a Spanish actress, dancer, courtesan, gambler, millionaire and most desirable woman in Europe, Augustina del Carmen Otero Iglesias was born. Impoverished, young Carmen was put into service as a maid. Raped at 10, she ran away at 14 with her boyfriend, Paco. She traveled as a gypsy dancer. At 24, a wealthy sponsor moved her to Marseilles where she left him and created her La Belle Otero character. A star at the Folies Bergere, La Belle associated with kings, grand dukes, princes and even had two men fight a duel over her. Retiring after World War 1, La Belle bought a mansion, acquired a fortune, lost it and wound up in a one-room apartment in Nice, France.
(1969) Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America. She served as the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 2013–2014, where she architected and helped found the United States Digital Service.
Ethel L. L. Paine
(August 14, 1911 – May 28, 1991) was an African-American journalist. Known as the “First Lady of the Black Press”, she was a columnist, lecturer, and freelance writer. She combined advocacy with journalism as she reported on the civil rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s. She became the first female African-American commentator employed by a national network when CBS hired her in 1972. In addition to her reporting of American domestic politics, she also covered international stories.