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Carolina Maria de Jesus
Brash, funny, and difficult, this mother of three wrote her way out of extreme poverty with her uncompromising look at Brazilian society - and was alternately lauded and berated for it.
When her beloved college of history was bombed by the Germans, this woman began a dark path that would see her become history's deadliest female sniper -- and one of Eleanor Roosevelt's best friends.
This single mom developed the field of Mexican archaeology, while fiercely protecting it from the sleazy and opportunistic.
Born in a prison cell, this revolutionary financed and led a large chunk of Greece's navy to victory in their fight for independence.
The first Japanese woman to go to college didn't have a choice. But the experience changed her - and she changed Japan in return.
When she came face-to-face with a great monster, this mother saved her child and herself through bravery, quick thinking, and great culinary skills.
The exiled daughter of a deposed ruler, she could have been a fairytale bridge between worlds - but fairy tales are not real. Benazir, whose name means "without flaw," was anything but.
To ensnare the scheming ministers who were ruining her life, this princess used guile, cunning, and a sophisticated knowledge of civil engineering.
Marsha P. Johnson
This cheery godmother of trans civil rights masked a dark past of abuse.
When a neighboring tribe threatened the Yoruba, this queen went undercover as a spy to find their weakness.