Despite near-total blindness from an autoimmune disorder, this self-taught cook won the grand prize on MasterChef in 2012.
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Viking princess who decided she'd rather be a pirate than get married.
When her deadbeat brothers demanded the impossible, this South African princess carried through, and slayed a dragon.
Mekatilili wa Menza
When colonial powers went too far, she rebelled in the most stylish way possible: dancing from town to town. It was surprisingly effective.
When enemies invaded her town while her husband was on lunch break, she grabbed a nearby pestle and saved the day by achieving the high score in soldier whack-a-mole.
Let her leprosy go untreated for years to make herself the perfect spy in the Japan-occupied Philippines - soldiers wouldn't touch her, so she could slip right through.
Champion weightlifter, suffragette, mom - this "Lady Hercules" did it all.
This revolutionary heroine of South America kept a pet bear, a disembodied moustache, and a lifestyle that defied every convention possible.
When the true king of the Scots came to reclaim the throne, this spirited woman went up against her husband to back her chosen sovereign.
This stubborn empress led her native Ethiopia to do the unthinkable - defeat one of the major European powers in war.
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.