I can see why a lot of these articles say she’s the greatest stunt rider around.
The Woman Who Can Glue the Body TogetherPereira invented a surgical glue which may eventually replace the need for sutures and the resulting chance of tearing and infection.
Madame ClaudeIn the 1960s she was known as the world’s most exclusive madam, whose clients were said to include John Kennedy, de Gaulle, Onassis, and multiple Rothschilds.
The Holocaust Survivor Who Became a French MinisterVeil, who died last week, was a fierce lawyer, a Holocaust survivor, and the first woman elected as president of the European Parliament.
The Singing NunIf you watch American Horror Story: Asylum, you may know the song Dominique. What you may not know is that it is a cover of a song from Souer Sourire, known as The Singing Nun. Sourire gave most of the money earned from the song to her religious order, who then expelled her, likely for her controversial social work and advocacy of the contraceptive pill . She lived out the rest of her life with her long-life friend and lover, Annie Pecher, before the two met a sad end. They are buried together in Belgium, where they lived. More here. (thanks to @silverlady7!)
The Teacher Who Saved Jewish Children from the NazisDuring World War II, Geulen moved Jewish children to Christian families. After the war, she used the records she had kept to reunite the children with any surviving family.
The Oldest Female Olympic GymnastChusovitina will be competing in the 2016 summer Olympics--her seventh Olympics to date--at age 41, making her the oldest female Olympic gymnast ever.
The Millennium PhysicistThe former project leader of one of the teams that discovered the Higgs boson has been promoted to director-general of CERN, the first woman to hold that position.
The spy who defeated Nazis with hairbandsFrom A Mighty Girl:
At age 23, British secret agent Phyllis Latour Doyle parachuted into occupied Normandy in May 1944 to gather intelligence on Nazi positions in preparation for D-Day. As an agent for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), Doyle secretly relayed 135 coded messages to the British military before France's liberation in August. For seventy years, her contributions to the war effort have been largely unheralded but, last week, the 93-year-old was finally given her due when she was awarded France's highest honor, the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. Doyle first joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force at age 20 in 1941 to work as a flight mechanic but SOE recruiters spotted her potential and offered her a job as a spy. A close family friend, her godmother's father who she viewed as her grandfather, had been shot by the Nazis and she was eager to support the war effort however she could. Doyle immediately accepted the SOE's offer and began an intensive training program. In addition to learning about encryption and surveillance, trainees also had to pass grueling physical tests. Doyle described how they were taught by a cat burglar who had been released from jail on "how to get in a high window, and down drain pipes, how to climb over roofs without being caught." She first deployed to Aquitaine in Vichy France where she worked for a year as a spy using the codename Genevieve. Her most dangerous mission, however, began on May 1, 1944 when she jumped out of a US Air Force bomber and landed behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied Normandy. Using the codename Paulette, she posed as a poor teenage French girl. Doyle used a bicycle to tour the region, often under the guise of selling soap, and passed information to the British on Nazi positions using coded messages. In an interview with the New Zealand Army News magazine, she described how risky the mission, noting that "The men who had been sent just before me were caught and executed. I was told I was chosen for that area (of France) because I would arouse less suspicion." She also explained how she concealed her codes: "I always carried knitting because my codes were on a piece of silk -- I had about 2000 I could use. When I used a code I would just pinprick it to indicate it had gone. I wrapped the piece of silk around a knitting needle and put it in a flat shoe lace which I used to tie my hair up." Coded messages took a half an hour to send and the Germans could identify where a signal was sent from in an hour and a half so Doyle moved constantly to avoid detection. At times, she stayed with Allied sympathizers but often she had to sleep in forests and forage for food. During her months in Normandy, Doyle sent 135 secret messages -- invaluable information on Nazi troop positions that was used to help Allied forces prepare for the Normandy landing on D-Day and during the subsequent military campaign. Doyle continued her mission until France's liberation in August 1944. Following the war, Doyle eventually settled in New Zealand where she raised four children. It was only in the past 15 years that she told them about her career as a spy. In presenting the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour to Doyle last week, French Ambassador Laurent Contini commended her courage during the war, stating: "I have deep admiration for her bravery and it will be with great honor that I will present her with the award of Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest decoration."
The Academic Who Overcame it AllCecile DeWitt-Morette was a pioneering mathematical physicist who worked with Albert Einstein, Irene Joliot-Curie, and Richard Feynman, and advocated for more women in the sciences.
Greatest Stunt Motorcyclist AroundAfter watching her work, I can see why many articles refer to her as the greatest stunt cyclist around.
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.
When she was told to "go do women's work" after upstaging the medical community in her treatment of Hodgkin's disease, Dr. Vera Peters revolutionized breast cancer treatment through years of painstaking, meticulous work.
Escaped slave turned slave rescuer turned plantation-torching Union spymaster, she was part Moses, part Joan of Arc, part Spider-Man.
The ghost of a tragically-murdered young child come back to haunt her mother in post-slavery America.
Joan of Arc
The infamous teen girl who helped end the Hundred Years War and save France - but do you know how…
Mexican revolutionary who bombed bridges, led hundreds of women into battle, and was instrumental in turning the tide of the war for the revolutionaries.