Biographies

Women have always played an active role in history. Explore some of the historical women and contemporary newsmakers that continue to impact the world. New biographies are added regularly, so check back to discover inspiring new stories!

 

Would you like to contribute? NWHM is looking for a writer for the biography on Celia Cruz, who will be honored as part of the American Women Quarters series in August 2024. Details and submission form can be found here.

Biography

Barbara Jordan

As a lawyer, a congresswoman, and a scholar, Barbara Jordan used her public speaking skills to fight for civil and human rights.
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Biography

Deloris Jordan

Deloris Jordan has established multiple charities, especially focused on underprivileged youth.
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Biography

Annie Jump Cannon

Known as the “census taker of the sky,” Annie Jump Cannon was a brilliant astronomer that revolutionized the way scientists classify stars.
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Biography

Elena Kagan

The first female Solicitor General of the United States and now an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, Elena Kagan is a prominent legal scholar and jurist who has advocated for justice and equality since childhood.
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Biography

Edith Kanaka'ole 

Edith Kanaka’ole (also affectionately called “Aunty Edith”), a native Hawaiian composer, chanter and dancer, was a champion for the preservation of native Hawaiian culture and arts.
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Biography

Kati Karikó

Karikó’s research and perseverance proved that mRNA vaccines were possible and paved the way for the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to end the Covid-19 Pandemic.
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Biography

Lani Ka’ahumanu

Lani Ka’ahumanu, a leader of the bisexual rights movement in the U.S., has worked for greater visibility for bisexuals both within the LGBTQ movement as well as broader society.
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Biography

Liya Kebede

Harnessing her fame as a supermodel, and drawing on her experiences as a child in Ethiopia and as a mother in the United States, Liya Kebede has become a leading advocate for maternal, newborn, and child health around the world.
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Biography

Elizabeth Keckley

Born into slavery, Elizabeth Keckley’s story is one of perseverance and ingenuity in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
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Biography

Helen Keller

Undeterred by deafness and blindness, Helen Keller rose to become a major 20th century humanitarian, educator and writer.
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Biography

Florence Kelley

Florence Kelley dedicated her life to social reform. She worked to end many social problems, including labor and racial discrimination.
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Biography

Frances Kathleen Oldham Kelsey

Frances “Frankie” Kathleen Oldham Kelsey. Kelsey was universally credited with sparing the US the damage inflicted by the drug thalidomide to the human nervous system by refusing to approve the drug for distribution in the US.
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Biography

Billie Jean King

One of the greatest tennis players of all time and a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient for her advocacy for women in sports and LGBTQ rights, Billie Jean King won 39 Grand Slam titles in her tennis career and led the fight for equal pay in tennis.
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Biography

Coretta Scott King

Although best known for being the wife of famed civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Coretta Scott King created her own legacy.
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Biography

Toni Ko

Toni Ko, a first-generation South Korean immigrant, made a name for herself in the business world as the founder of NYX Cosmetics and now helps fund and develop other women-run brands.
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Biography

Susan G. Komen

Susan G. Komen's name became synonymous with breast cancer awareness throughout the 90s and early 2000s, but who was Susan G. Komen?
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Biography

María Teresa Kumar

Emmy nominated political and voting rights activist María Teresa Kumar has dedicated her career to advocating for inclusive political participation.
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Biography

Winona LaDuke

Winona LaDuke, a Native American activist, economist, and author, has devoted her life to advocating for Indigenous control of their homelands, natural resources, and cultural practices.
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Biography

Beverly LaHaye

Beverly LaHaye has been an influential voice in American conservative politics for decades and founded the Concerned Women for America.
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Biography

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-American actress and inventor who pioneered the technology that would one day form the basis for today’s WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth communication systems
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