In 1984, when nurses would draw straws to avoid entering the room of a patient with AIDS, and pharmacies would refuse to keep the pens of someone who worked with people with AIDS, she cared for hundreds of them with compassion and love.
Ruth Coker Burks
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An Inuit woman so strong nobody could even beat her lice in arm-wrestling, her story just gets stranger the closer you look.
Stephanie St. Clair
This audacious black gangster fought the Italian mob for control of Harlem and won, taunting them in full-page newspaper ads as she went.
Instigated a massive "women's war" against British taxation, the effect of which was one part protest movement, one part comedy roast, and one part block party.
The first Japanese woman to go to college didn't have a choice. But the experience changed her - and she changed Japan in return.
When she was told to "go do women's work" after upstaging the medical community in her treatment of Hodgkin's disease, Dr. Vera Peters revolutionized breast cancer treatment through years of painstaking, meticulous work.
The lone survivor of an ill-fated scientific expedition, this Inuit woman persevered for two years on a remote arctic island in order to get money to treat her ill son.
One half of the odd couple of Crimean nursing - the by-the-book Victorian rebel who revolutionized the field of medicine who stood in stark to Mary Seacole's jolly reliance on folk remedies and home comforts.
This single mom developed the field of Mexican archaeology, while fiercely protecting it from the sleazy and opportunistic.
Possibly the most prolific female serial killer in history, a primary inspiration for Dracula, one of the most reviled women in history, and, I argue, innocent.
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!