Using her photographic memory, this WW2 spy stole some of the most vital German rocket plans, and suffered a year in concentration camps for it. She died this year.
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This Hmong morality tale shows how to be a good person, but it certainly takes some twists getting there.
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.
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When her husband unexpectedly died, she rolled up her sleeves and became one of the greatest authors of the age to keep food on the table. She wrote passionate defenses of her gender (and military treatises!) that were centuries ahead of their time.
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When her (second) rebel husband was killed, this heroine of Indonesian revolution took over the fight against the Dutch.
Turned into a revolutionary in middle age, this mother became one of the Philippines most heralded women.
Muslim sultan who took the throne, defeated Louis IX in battle, ransomed him back to France for 30% of their GDP --- and did it all in secret.