Some made music, some made noise, all made a difference. We celebrate women who have broken records, blazed trails, and suffered trials. While some are obvious choices and some obscure, all acted to increase our liberty, safety, and prosperity. By the way, don’t forget to check out our Women’s Issue magazine  for Women’s History Month Amelia EarhartAmelia Earhart  (1897 – 1937) ICONIC AVIATOR The first woman to fly across the Atlantic, tragically disappearing in 1937 on what was meant to be a globe-circling flight. She accomplished a larger mission, dramatically expanding the world’s notions of how high a woman can soar. Anne FrankAnne Frank  (1929 – 1945) DIARIST She dreamed of being remembered as a writer – and her words have had a life she couldn’t have imagined when she died in a concentration camp at 15. Her diary reminds us of the Holocaust’s inhumanity. Antonia Novello, M.D.Antonia Novello, M.D. First woman and first Latina to be U.S. Surgeon General, 1990. . . Babe Didrikson ZahariasBabe Didrikson Zaharias  (1911 – 1956) STAR ATHLETE This Olympic track, field champ and golf whiz (36 LPGA titles) made it OK for women to let the world see how much they wanted to win. . Barbara WaltersBarbara Walters  (1929 –   ) TV NEWSWOMAN The first woman to co-anchor a network’s nightly news (and earn an unprecedented $1 million a year for it). . Betty FriedanBetty Friedan  (1921 – 2006) FEMINIST AUTHOR Her 1963 best seller, The Feminine Mystique chronicled the unspoken unhappiness of women forced into restrictive roles, and helped change ideas about what women are capable of and entitled to. She co-founded the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the National Women’s Political Caucus. Caresse CrosbyCaresse Crosby Inventor of the first modern bra, patented 1914. Her real name was Mary Phelps Jacob, and she was also a publisher. . Carrie Chapman CattCarrie Chapman Catt  (1859 – 1947) SUFFRAGIST As president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, she led the strategic push to pass the 19th Amendment. . Clara BartonClara Barton  (1821 – 1912) FOUNDER OF THE AMERICAN RED CROSS This schoolteacher turned Civil War nurse was intrepid on the battlefield and ingeniously helpful after the fighting ended. . Claudette ColvinClaudette Colvin  (1939 –   ) CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST In 1955, as a brave 15-year-old in Alabama, Colvin refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger and was arrested, even before Rosa Parks’s seminal act of defiance. But Colvin, unmarried, became pregnant, and civil rights campaigners worried that would muddy the issue. Parks became the emblem of the struggle instead — and certainly earned her icon status. But Colvin deserves recognition, too. Diana Princess of WalesDiana, Princess of Wales  (1961 – 1997) ROYAL / HUMANITARIAN Her legacy of charm and charity endures, especially her campaigns for acceptance of AIDS victims and against land mines. . Eleanor RooseveltEleanor Roosevelt  (1884 – 1962) FIRST LADY / U.S. DELEGATE TO THE UNITED NATIONS / HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST FDR’s helpmate, national reassurer during WW II, friend to working women, battler against injustice. She overcame intense shyness to become a supremely public person. Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D.Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D.  (1821 – 1910) PIONEERING PHYSICIAN The first American woman to graduate from medical school, she started the NY Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children. . Eve EnslerEve Ensler  (1953 –   ) PLAYWRIGHT / PERFORMER / ACTIVIST The creator of The Vagina Monologues has raised consciousness – and, through her V-Day organization, more than $75 million for global programs working to end violence against women and girls. A current focus: the Democratic Republic of Congo, the most dangerous place in the world for females. Fannie Lou HamerFannie Lou Hamer  (1917 – 1977) CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST In the 1960s, this daughter of Mississippi sharecroppers was threatened for trying to register to vote, and jailed and beaten for sitting in a whites-only café. She went on to conduct successful voter-registration drives, and to integrate Mississippi’s delegation to the 1968 Democratic convention. Geraldine FerraroGeraldine Ferraro  (1935 –   ) CONGRESSWOMAN As the Democratic vice-presidential candidate in 1984, she was the first woman nominated for that national office by a major political party. . Gertrude Belle ElionGertrude Belle Elion  (1918 – 1999) MEDICAL RESEARCHER Thousands of people have been given a second chance because of her. This Nobel Prize-winning research scientist co-developed two drugs that fought leukemia and in 1957, developed the first immunosuppressant agent, a development that made it possible to transplant organs. Gertrude EderleGertrude Ederle First woman to swim the English Channel (beating the men’s record by nearly two hours), 1926. . Gloria SteinemGloria Steinem  (1934 –   ) FEMINIST WRITER & ACTIVIST Co-founder of Ms. magazine and the National Women’s Political Caucus, she dared to use the f word (feminist!) to assure women equal rights, protections, and opportunities under the law. With good humor and compassion, she kicked open doors for our daughters. Grace Murray HopperGrace Murray Hopper  (1906 – 1992) COMPUTER-LANGUAGE CREATOR One of the first women in the Navy to attain the rank of rear admiral, Hopper was a math whiz and a founding mother of computer languages; her focus was on making them more accessible to programmers. Your software exists because of her. Harriet TubmanHarriet Tubman  (c. 1820 – 1913) ABOLITIONIST A fugitive slave who, at great peril to herself, helped nearly 300 slaves escape the South via the Underground Railroad. She was also a Civil War spy and nurse; a promoter of education, though illiterate; and a campaigner for women’s suffrage. Helen Gurley BrownHelen Gurley Brown  (1922 –   ) EDITOR / SEXUAL REVOLUTIONARY Author of the 1962 mega best-seller Sex and the Single Girl and editor of Cosmopolitan for 32 years, she was an outspoken advocate for women’s sexual freedom long before the idea went mainstream. Helen KellerHelen Keller  (1880 – 1968) WRITER / LECTURER / HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER / PACIFIST Keller, the first deaf-blind person to earn a college degree, changed forever our ideas about what disabled people could accomplish. . HILLARY RODHAM CLINTONHillary Rodham Clinton  (1947 –   ) SECRETARY OF STATE / FORMER FIRST LADY / FORMER U.S. SENATOR As a presidential candidate in 2008, she won more primaries and gathered more delegates than any woman in U.S. history. Ida TarbellIda Tarbell  (1857 – 1944) REPORTER One of the original muckrakers, she drew public attention to unfair business practices at Standard Oil. . Jacqueline CochranJacqueline Cochran  (1906 – 1980) PIONEERING PILOT The first woman to break the sound barrier, she might have been the first woman astronaut — but apparently NASA wasn’t ready: Thirteen women, including Cochran, were invited to train, then disinvited in 1961 (though some outperformed male trainees). Jane AddamsJane Addams  (1860 – 1935) SOCIAL REFORMER / NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER Social worker, miracle worker: The settlement house system she brought to the U.S. offered sustenance, safety, and services to thousands of the nation’s underprivileged. Jane GoodallJane Goodall  (1934 –   ) PRIMATOLOGIST & CONSERVATIONIST Fifty years ago she began studying chimpanzee families – and in the process taught us much about our own. Roots & Shoots, her environmental organization for kids, has tens of thousands of participants – a new generation ready to protect wild things and their habitats. Jane Guthrie Smiling While Sitting in CarJane Guthrie First woman to drive in the Indianapolis 500, 1977. . . Janet RenoJanet Reno First woman U.S. Attorney General, 1993. . . Jeannette RankinJeannette Rankin First woman elected to Congress, 1916. . . Juliette Gordon LowJuliette Gordon Low  (1860 – 1927) FOUNDER OF THE GIRL SCOUTS She gets a merit badge for broadening the horizons of millions of girls. . Katharine GrahamKatharine Graham  (1917 – 2001) PUBLISHER OF THE WASHINGTON POST She showed that a woman thrust into power by tragic circumstance can wield it cannily, gracefully, and meaningfully. . Kathryn BigelowKathryn Bigelow First woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director, 2010. . . Katie CouricKatie Couric First woman solo news anchor, 2006. . . Lillian Moller GilbrethLillian Moller Gilbreth  (1878 – 1972) INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER She boosted workplace efficiency, advanced the field of motion study, and designed equipment to make housework easier for the disabled. . Lillian VernonLillian Vernon  (1929 –   ) CATALOG QUEEN The first female-founded company to be publicly traded on the American Stock Exchange, the Lillian Vernon Corporation was a multimillion-dollar business in its heyday. Sarah WeddingtonLinda Coffee & Sarah Weddington ATTORNEYS The pair represented Jane Roe, whose real name is Norma McCorvey in Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case that confirmed a woman’s right to abortion. Wherever you stand on the issue, these three have shaped public debate and affected the lives of American women. Lucille BallLucille Ball  (1911 – 1989) COMEDIAN The first woman to head a television studio. . Madeline AlbrightMadeline Albright First woman Secretary of State, 1996. . . Margaret Chase SmithMargaret Chase Smith  (1897 – 1995) CONGRESSWOMAN AND SENATOR The first woman to be elected to both the House and the Senate, and the first woman to have her name placed in nomination at the convention of a major party (the GOP). Margaret MeadMargaret Mead  (1901 – 1978) ANTHROPOLOGIST / WOMEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVIST Her fieldwork in the South Pacific showed us that we earthlings are more the same than we are different, and helped usher in the sexual revolution of the 1960s. margaret sangerMargaret Sanger  (1879 – 1966) BIRTH CONTROL ADVOCATE Sanger founded the American Birth Control League, which became Planned Parenthood. The sixth of 11 children, she felt that frequent pregnancies hastened her mother’s early death. Sanger worked to give us control over the means of reproduction. Margaret ThatcherMargaret Thatcher  (1925 –   ) FIRST FEMALE PRIME MINISTER OF BRITAIN Hearing the Iron Lady talk tough inspired us to stay strong, too (whether we agreed with her or not). . Marie CurieMarie Curie  (1867 – 1934) NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING PHYSICIST & CHEMIST The first woman to win a Nobel Prize in two areas, Curie co-discovered two elements, radium and polonium, and coined the term “radioactivity.” She was one of the first to suggest using radiation to treat cancer. Curie helped usher in the atomic age and revolutionize chemistry, physics, and medicine – while fighting deep prejudice against women in the sciences. Mary McLeod BethuneMary McLeod Bethune  (1875 – 1955) EDUCATOR & CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER Founder of the National Council of Negro Women, she served as an adviser to FDR on his “black cabinet” and promoted the education of African-American youth. Maya LinMaya Lin  (1959 –   ) ARTIST & ARCHITECT She was a 21-year-old undergraduate at Yale when she won a competition to design her most famous work, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. Controversial at first, but now one of the capital’s most visited monuments, it proves the healing power of art. Mia HammMia Hamm  (1972 –   ) SOCCER CHAMPION She scored more international goals than any other soccer player, and led a generation of adolescent girls to change their minds about sports. . Michelle ObamaMichelle Obama  (1964 –   ) FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN FIRST LADY Lawyer, campaigner against childhood obesity. . Mother Jones - Mary Harris JonesMother Jones  (1837 – 1930) LABOR LEADER Named Mary Harris Jones, assailed in Congress as “the grandmother of all agitators,” and hailed as “the miner’s angel” by workers, fought against child labor and for decent conditions, fair pay, and safety in the workplace. Mother TeresaMother Teresa  (1910 – 1997) MISSIONARIES OF CHARITY FOUNDER In creating an order whose members tended to the orphaned, sick, and dying among the poorest of the poor worldwide, Mother Teresa inspired others as a model of service and extreme goodness.   Muriel SiebertMuriel Siebert  (1932 –   ) FINANCIER The first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, and the first woman Superintendent of Banks for New York State. . Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi First woman Speaker of the House, 2007. . . Nellie BlyNellie Bly  (1864 – 1922) REPORTER The nom de plume of reporter Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, who got herself committed to an insane asylum to expose horrendous conditions, zipped around the globe, and covered WW I. Her probing and poking spurred official action, and her bold dispatches inspired budding girl scribes. Oprah WinfreyOprah Winfrey  (1954 –   ) QUEEN OF ALL MEDIA Where do we start? She uses TV to help us live our best lives, her book club created millions of readers, she’s a benevolent billionaire – giving gazillions to charity, her Leadership Academy – we just don’t have room in our gratitude journal. Paulette BarnesPaulette Barnes LANDMARK PLAINTIFF She changed your life in the workplace. In 1977, Barnes became the first woman to win a sexual harassment suit when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that she had lost her job for spurning her boss’s sexual advances. The precedent has protected all of us. Rachel CarsonRachel Carson  (1907 – 1964) BIOLOGIST & ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST Her book Silent Spring, which warned of the perils of pesticide use, sparked a grassroots green movement and spurred the overhauling of our national policy on pesticides. Her work has saved countless lives – furred, feathered, finned, and human. Rosabeth Moss KanterRosabeth Moss Kanter  (1943 –   ) MANAGEMENT MAVEN This Harvard business professor’s groundbreaking research on the toll of tokenism, work/family conflicts, fostering diversity, and the creation of successful organizations has helped women become stronger, more strategic leaders. Rosalind FranklinRosalind Franklin  (1920 – 1958) BIOPHYSICIST She discovered proof of the double-helix structure of DNA before the men credited with doing so, Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins; their work was based in part on her data. They won a Nobel Prize; she died in obscurity at 37. Her full contribution wasn’t acknowledged until years later. Rosalyn YalowRosalyn Yalow  (1921 –   ) MEDICAL PHYSICIST She helped refine radioimmunoassay, a technique for measuring hormones and other body chemicals. There’s a good chance the last medical test you had exists because of Yalow’s work, for which she shared a Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine. Rosie the RiveterRosie the Riveter FACTORY WORKER She symbolized women’s contribution to the war effort. Real-life Rosies filled factory positions while men were away (the number of American working women grew by 50% in four years), proving that we could excel at a “man’s job.” Dr. Ruth WestheimerDr. Ruth Westheimer SEX THERAPIST Virginia Johnson researched the human sexual response, and Mary Calderone, M.D., founded the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. But it was Dr. Ruth, on her long-running radio show Sexually Speaking and then on TV, who really broke the shame barrier and got America chatting cheerfully and frankly about safe, sane, and satisfying sex. Sally PriesandSally Priesand America’s first ordained woman rabbi, 1972. . . Sandra Day O’ConnorSandra Day O’Connor  (1930 –   ) SUPREME COURT JUSTICE The first woman appointed to that bench (in 1981). We also mention the admirable number two, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for her humane and balanced decisions. After she entered Harvard Law School in 1956, the dean asked women students how it felt to take places that could have gone to deserving men. And let’s hail number three, wise Latina Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic on the Court. Shirley ChisholmShirley Chisholm  (1924 – 2005) CONGRESSWOMAN The first black woman elected to Congress (from New York), and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in primaries. . Susan B. AnthonySusan B. Anthony  (1820 – 1906) SUFFRAGIST & ABOLITIONIST The co-founder of the National Woman Suffrage Association with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she championed equal rights for women. She didn’t live to see the passage of the 19th Amendment, giving women the vote. Susan SolomonSusan Solomon  (1956 –   ) ATMOSPHERIC SCIENTIST A senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, she helped determine what caused the hole in the ozone layer. Her work led to the global ban on chemicals like the propellants in old-style aerosol cans. Toni MorrisonToni Morrison NOVELIST The first African American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature; winner of the Pulitzer Prize. . Valentina TereshkovaValentina Tereshkova  (1937 –   ) COSMONAUT The first woman in space, 1963. . Virginia Apgar, M.D.Virginia Apgar, M.D.  (1909 – 1974) PHYSICIAN, PIONEER IN NEONATOLOGY She created life’s first test: the Apgar Score for evaluating newborns. The result of her work: reduced infant mortality. . Virginia WoolfVirginia Woolf  (1882 – 1941) NOVELIST & ESSAYIST Not just for being an important and inventive modern novelist, but for reminding us, in A Room of One’s Own, of what remarkable things women might have written throughout history if they hadn’t been too burdened by household cares and society’s restrictions. Wangari MaathaiWangari Maathai  (1940 –   ) GREEN ACTIVIST The first environmentalist and first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Maathai was beaten and jailed as a leader of Kenya’s democracy movement. She rallies women to plant trees, creating jobs for the poor, fighting deforestation and erosion, and creating lots of nice oxygen for all of us. Wendy KoppWendy Kopp  (1967 –   ) FOUNDER, TEACH FOR AMERICA It was her senior thesis at Princeton – a plan to create a corps of desperately needed teachers for schools in low-income neighborhoods. Twenty years later, Teach for America has trained more than 24,000 teachers and reached three million students. We praise Kopp for reminding us that one woman can make a huge difference in the world. Wilma RudolphWilma Rudolph  (1940 – 1994) OLYMPIC CHAMPION She overcame polio to become a runner, winning three gold medals in one Olympics, the first American woman to do so. . . Thank you, ladies, for making such a difference in the world! Information courtesy of Good Housekeeping