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Sor Juana Inés de La Cruz
This brilliant poet rose from illegitimacy and poverty to become one of the luminaries of her age - until she flew too close to the sun.
Cross-dressing Queen of Thieves who flouted social norms and had plays written about her.
When her father died, leaving her lower-class family in debt, this indomitable woman worked tirelessly and became one of history's greatest fossil collectors.
When a firebreathing shapeshifting hippo menaced her people, this shaman faced it down in a magic battle - and then hurled it into space.
History's first computer programmer, who invented algorithms for the first computer - which didn't even exist during her lifetime, so…
When the Portuguese took the throne from her, this Angolan queen made a new one: out of her own servant. She then fled to the jungle, conquered a tribe of cannibals, and waged war on the Portuguese for so long that they gave up and left.
The only female emperor of China in history, her ruthless rise to power makes Game of Thrones look like a day at the beach.
To save an oncoming passenger train, this 15-year-old girl climbed across a collapsing bridge, with nothing but flashes of lightning to keep her from falling to her death in the flooding river below -- a river that had already killed her father.
One of the most famous women in American history, this hyper-capable Shoshone woman walked across America with a baby strapped to her back, in order to map it.
Alice B. Clement
Chicago detective whose crime-busting exploits grew so popular she had her own newspaper series and starred in her own movie.