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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The world's fiercest all-female fighting force, and the incredible legend of how they rescued their deposed queen from slavery in Brazil.
The Mirabal Sisters
When a cruel dictator ruined this Dominican Republic family, these sisters gave their lives to end his.
When the most powerful man in the world made plans on her country, she: turned down his marriage proposal, destroyed his armies, and defiled his head so famously that she became legend for centuries thereafter.
Christine de Pizan
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.
One half of the odd couple of Crimean nursing - the jolly black businesswoman who swore by folk remedies, in stark contrast to Florence Nightingale's by-the-book Victorian approach to medicine.
When Rome set its eyes on her country, this one-eyed queen fought them tooth and nail, until they left her alone.
The exiled daughter of a deposed ruler, she could have been a fairytale bridge between worlds - but fairy tales are not real. Benazir, whose name means "without flaw," was anything but.
The "panther queen" of the Azna defeated some of the greatest villains of French colonial history through wits, cunning -- and possibly magic.
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.
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.