Nia Ngao Zhua Pa
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Abandoned and imprisoned, this real-life Amazon took back the life she had stolen away.
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America had Al Capone. Sydney had Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine - who *hated* each other.
In 1915, this rowdy Puerto Rican activist was arrested for wearing pants in public. It wouldn't be the last time she wore pants, or got arrested.
Headed a squadron of 80,000 pirates, ruled the Chinese seas for two decades, and actually retired happily - but not before extorting a nice pension from the Chinese government.
This single mom developed the field of Mexican archaeology, while fiercely protecting it from the sleazy and opportunistic.
This amateur dancer escaped a life of abuse by pretending to be an Indonesian princess - and eventually became a victim of the maniacal world of espionage.
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.
When her kid was stolen from her, this ex-slave successfully sued to get him back; she then went on to become a forceful speaker for abolition across the United States.
This stubborn empress led her native Ethiopia to do the unthinkable - defeat one of the major European powers in war.
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.