30 years after her family was laid low by John Rockefeller Sr’s shady deals, “Tarbell would redefine investigative journalism with a 19-part series in McClure’s magazine, a masterpiece of journalism and an unrelenting indictment that brought down one of history’s greatest tycoons and effectively broke up Standard Oil’s monopoly.”
11-year-old cryptographic entrepreneurWhen her mother started paying her to generate secure passwords, she realized other people would do the same.
The First Person in a Wheelchair to Perform on BroadwayAli Stroker became the first person in a wheelchair to perform on Broadway after her debut as Anna in "Spring Awakening."
A Doctor in Auschwitz"I learned that [pregnant women] were all taken to the research block to be used as guinea pigs, and then two lives would be thrown into the crematorium. I decided that never again would there be a pregnant woman in Auschwitz.''
Creator of the Home Pregnancy TestIn 1968, the tests to determine whether someone was pregnant were done in labs, and the results sent to a doctor, who would relay it to the patient--a process which could take weeks. Margaret Crane changed that.
10-Year Old Creator of Plus-Sized, Nigerian-Themed Fashion LineIfy was bullied at school for her size. In response, she started an Instagram account and a fashion line.
"Deadshot" MaryA detective for the NYPD (eventually becoming the fourth woman there to make first-grade detective), Shanley was a frequent subject of contemporary newspapers.
Olympian FencerNzingha is only 23 years old and already competing in her second Olympics.
The Woman Who Revolutionized the Art of Food WritingPaddleford spent years writing about food in America, traveling all over the country (and the world) to report on regional cuisine.
The first woman field engineerWhen the chief engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge fell ill, his wife took over. For eleven years.
The Journalist Who Took On The Tycoon30 years after John Rockefeller Sr laid her family low with his shady deals, she laid him low with her journalism.
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.
Somalia's ballsiest queen, she took power from men either figuratively or literally - by ordering much of the gender castrated.…
Socialite turned sniper turned socialist politician - Ireland's first woman elected to office had quite a life.
Matilda of Tuscany
Fiery defender of the pope who made kings kneel before her.
Wallada bint al-Mustakfi
Spirited poetry-spouting princess who lived an audacious life and put her cheating lover on blast with her expert slam poetry.
This superhero of early Iranian mythology starred in her own stories, and plenty of them.