What I love about this: Maud Wagner (nee Stevens) got her first tattoo from Gus Wagner, the man who would become her husband, because he was trying to get a first date. A big part of their relationship involved him teaching her how to tattoo people using his old-schools techniques.
America's First Female MayorMen nominated her to make fun of her. Then she won.
Pearl Jam's Sound Engineer for Over Twenty YearsKeyes is one of very few female sound engineers, working with bands like Pearl Jam and the Red Hot Chili Peppers for over thirty years.
Young Entrepreneur Out to Save BeesAfter becoming fascinated by bees, Mikaila started a business selling lemonade in order to help them.
The Cemetery AngelIn 1984, when nurses would draw straws to avoid entering the room of a patient with AIDS, and pharmacies would refuse to keep the pens of someone who worked with people with AIDS, she cared for hundreds of them with compassion and love.
Kickboxing Instructor who Fought Off Kidnapper“He invaded *my* space,” she said. “I have a right to be on that trail.”
Amputee Runner and BodybuilderBorn without legs and most of her fingers in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster, Tatsiana Khvitsko has since taken up running and bodybuilding.
The Woman Who Saved a Man With a Nazi TattooWhen a crowd protesting a Ku Klux Klan rally noticed a man with a Confederate flag shirt and an SS tattoo, they chased and attacked him. Keshia Thomas protected him.
NASA's Newest AstronautThis Iranian-American marine is now one of NASA's newest astronauts.
America's First Female Chief Federal ProsecutorAmerica’s first female chief federal prosecutor not only put herself in harm’s way to end abusive labor practices, she later became a PI and solved murders.
The First American Female Tattoo ArtistWagner was a circus aerialist and contortionist who learned how to tattoo from the man who would become her husband.
50 years before women got the federal right to vote, Esther Morris became America's first female justice of the peace. A contemporary newspaper called her “the terror of all rogues” and said she offered “infinite delight to all lovers of peace and virtue."
When Singaporean guerrillas tried overthrowing British rule, they turned to this gangster to run their communications. The cat-and-mouse game in which she was caught by a female police officer is riveting stuff.
New York's first licensed female cabbie didn't let racism, sexism, or a speech impediment slow her down.
Without training, this 13-year-old shattered world records for running in 1967 -- unfortunately, it happened shortly after Kathrine Switzer's headline-making Boston marathon entry, and Mancuso's feat was all but forgotten.
Tammie Jo Shults
One of the US Navy's first female fighter pilots took a job with a commercial airline - and then saved the day when an engine exploded mid-flight.
Her apartment, which she dubbed Dream Haven, was a “who’s-who of the Harlem Renaissance: artists, poets, writers, songwriters, intellectuals, and activists” - everyone from Zora Neale Hurston to Langston Hughes to W.E.B. Du Bois.
Together with her husband Serge, this woman has spent her life tracking down war criminals and bringing them to justice.
Part of a WW2 unit that untangled a logistics nightmare, she lived to a hundred and helped run a chapter of the NAACP.
In the 60s, an Italian woman was abducted and raped - and then pressured to marry her rapist. She instead took him to court and got him tossed into jail.
She organized the Club From Nowhere - a collection of chefs who helped the effort in anonymity, to avoid reprisals in their personal and professional lives.
Revolutionized the field of mathematics, yet was persecuted for being Jewish and paid a pittance for her visionary teaching work.
This undefinable adventurer's life burnt bright but short: a wildcard of the Algerian revolution, she survived an assassination attempt by sabre, and died in a freak desert flood.
When her brother was killed, this pharaoh took her time cooking up revenge.
This Armenian folktale princess saved her hapless beau - by making him get a job.
Te Puea Herangi
The reluctant royal who became the Maori's greatest leader.