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When terrorists hijacked her plane, she gave her life to save it, becoming the youngest recipient of India's highest honor.
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.
After disguising herself as a man to be the physician women needed, she was put on trial - and won.
When the most powerful man in the world made plans on her country, she: turned down his marriage proposal, destroyed his armies, and defiled his head so famously that she became legend for centuries thereafter.
This Indonesian queen ruled wisely and justly in life, and was deified as the embodiment of all evil after her death. The story of why gets a bit complicated.
Escaped slave turned slave rescuer turned plantation-torching Union spymaster, she was part Moses, part Joan of Arc, part Spider-Man.
Ida B. Wells
One of the first anti-lynching advocates, she risked her life for decades to report on the truth when nobody would believe her.
The illegitimate daughter of a minor noble, after losing her husband, she became one of the most powerful and fierce women in Italy - commanding troops, insulting Machiavelli, and fighting Cesare Borgia with unmatched ferocity.
Jeanne de Clisson
When her husband was unjustly executed, this French noblewoman-turned-pirate became the terror of France.
Let her leprosy go untreated for years to make herself the perfect spy in the Japan-occupied Philippines - soldiers wouldn't touch her, so she could slip right through.