Men nominated her to make fun of her. Then she won.
Pearl Jam's Sound Engineer for Over Twenty YearsKeyes is one of very few female sound engineers, working with bands like Pearl Jam and the Red Hot Chili Peppers for over thirty years.
The First American Female Tattoo ArtistWagner was a circus aerialist and contortionist who learned how to tattoo from the man who would become her husband.
Kickboxing Instructor who Fought Off Kidnapper“He invaded *my* space,” she said. “I have a right to be on that trail.”
Amputee Runner and BodybuilderBorn without legs and most of her fingers in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster, Tatsiana Khvitsko has since taken up running and bodybuilding.
The Cemetery AngelIn 1984, when nurses would draw straws to avoid entering the room of a patient with AIDS, and pharmacies would refuse to keep the pens of someone who worked with people with AIDS, she cared for hundreds of them with compassion and love.
One of the World's Greatest BirdersAfter being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Snetsinger became driven to become the world's best birder, eventually seeing around 85% of the bird species on the entire planet.
11-Year-Old Lead-Detecting InventorThe Colorado seventh-grader was unimpressed by the options her parents had to test water in their home. So she created a sensor-based device using chemically treated carbon nanotubes to do it faster.
Young Entrepreneur Out to Save BeesAfter becoming fascinated by bees, Mikaila started a business selling lemonade in order to help them.
America's First Female Chief Federal ProsecutorAmerica’s first female chief federal prosecutor not only put herself in harm’s way to end abusive labor practices, she later became a PI and solved murders.
America's First Female MayorMen nominated her to make fun of her. Then she won.
Born without arms or legs, this artist learned to write, sew, and paint with her mouth - and came to work for kings and queens.
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."
Although her tribe was destroyed and she was forced into an unwanted marriage, this indomitable woman came to run the world's largest empire - with a woman as her companion.
This Mongol stood up to the most fearsome man in the world and in so doing, prevented a genocide.
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.
When the true king of the Scots came to reclaim the throne, this spirited woman went up against her husband to back her chosen sovereign.
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.
When invaders threatened her island home, she declared herself a living god, raised an army, and fought them tooth, nail, and occasional grenade.
Susan la Flesche Picotte
The first Native American medical doctor endured back-breaking labor, years spent alone, and institutional racism to better the lives of her people.
Rose from dire poverty and violence to become the greatest black entertainer of all time - Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Angelina Jolie all rolled into one.
"Stagecoach" Mary Fields
Pistol-packing, liquor-swigging, 6'2" black postal carrier/babysitter of the Wild West.
Olympias of Macedon
The much-maligned woman fought tooth and nail to position her son, Alexander, to become "the Great" - and herself in the process.