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This pope was largely assumed to be male until she gave birth in the midst of a procession - and largely assumed to be factual until the 13th century.
Olga of Kiev
Brutal princess-turned-Christian saint who burnt down enemy towns using pigeons.
Stephanie St. Clair
This audacious black gangster fought the Italian mob for control of Harlem and won, taunting them in full-page newspaper ads as she went.
When the Portuguese took the throne from her, this Angolan queen made a new one: out of her own servant. She then fled to the jungle, conquered a tribe of cannibals, and waged war on the Portuguese for so long that they gave up and left.
Possibly the most prolific female serial killer in history, a primary inspiration for Dracula, one of the most reviled women in history, and, I argue, innocent.
Bisexual cross-dressing spy princess of the Qing dynasty - a hero to some and unspeakable villain to others.
The only use this Canadian badass had for pretty pink bows was to adorn her own rib — which she amputated from her own body after an accident.
Fannie Lou Hamer
This uneducated, impoverished activist suffered unbelievable abuse in her journey to be able to vote -- but that did not stop her.
This uneducated rebel preacher upstaged New England magistrates so much that they founded Harvard University in part to prevent women like her from gaining power.
When terrorists hijacked her plane, she gave her life to save it, becoming the youngest recipient of India's highest honor.