Fredericka "Marm" Mandelbaum ran an operation fencing millions of dollars worth of stolen goods in New York. To increase her client base, she opened a school to teach aspiring criminals skills such as pickpocketing, graduating up to safe-cracking and blackmail.
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While browsing a book of woman warriors, I came across an entry that stopped me cold. You have to read this.
Dame Stephanie "Steve" Shirley
In the 60s, this pioneering businesswoman fought - and won - endless battles to carve out a living for her 300+ female programmer employees.
Christine de Pizan
When her husband unexpectedly died, she rolled up her sleeves and became one of the greatest authors of the age to keep food on the table. She wrote passionate defenses of her gender (and military treatises!) that were centuries ahead of their time.
The first prosthetic limb in human civilization went to this ancient warrior queen. Or did it? The story is more complex than you might think.
When a neighboring tribe threatened the Yoruba, this queen went undercover as a spy to find their weakness.
Fearsome undefeated samurai warrior who was "a match for any god or demon," and is one of Japan's greatest heroines…
This mythical Native American woman saved her loved ones from starvation with delicious magical leprosy - a fact that led to, shall we say, complications.
When this indigenous Brazilian warrior mermaid proved too awesome for her tribe, she just took up residence in the water, and started an aquatic harem of passers-by.
Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine
America had Al Capone. Sydney had Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine - who *hated* each other.
Picked to be an impotent figurehead, this savvy intellectual quickly learned how to play politics and modernized the nation to ward off invasion.
Sold into sexual slavery to Hernan Cortes, this maligned woman became his interpreter, and it was with her words that…
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.