Madam C.J. Walker
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Madam C.J. Walker
America's ostensible first female self-made millionaire was a black beauty magnate who did it all for her daughter.
Martha Matilda Harper
Harper was an entrepreneur who essentially created the modern hair salon, which she grew into a franchise of hundreds of stores across the world.
The "Last of the Aboriginal Tasmanians" (she wasn't) used brains, brawn, and sheer will to carve a place for herself, even as the world was collapsing around her.
Juana Azurduy de Padilla
This revolutionary (and mother of five) should have been the namesake of Bolivia - and that's the opinion of Simon Bolivar, the actual namesake of Bolivia!
Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine
America had Al Capone. Sydney had Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine - who *hated* each other.
Born without arms or legs, this artist learned to write, sew, and paint with her mouth - and came to work for kings and queens.
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.
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.
This uneducated rebel preacher upstaged New England magistrates so much that they founded Harvard University in part to prevent women like her from gaining power.
This "most dangerous of all spies" staged daring mountaintop escapes, prison breaks, and railway bombings -- all on her trusty wooden leg, codenamed "Cuthbert."
Nanny of the Maroons
Led colony of escaped slaves and protected them from the English using borderline supernatural abilities.
She traded a life of privilege for one spent fighting for justice on both literal and political battlefields so tirelessly that even exiling her five times couldn't keep her down.