Nellie McClung was a Canadian author, politician and feminist who campaigned for women’s rights during the early 20th century. She was one of the “Famous Five” who successfully petitioned for women to be considered “persons” under Canadian law.
War correspondent Martha Gellhorn might have been just that if history had recorded her only as Ernest Hemingway’s wife. Instead she made her mark as a renowned journalist and novelist whose career spanned almost 60 years and saw her cover every major conflict in her lifetime from the Spanish Civil War to Vietnam to the U.S. invasion of Panama.
Author, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson. Her older brother nicknamed her “Maya”, derived from “My” or “Mya Sister”. She had a tumultuous childhood, was the victim of child rape, and was mute for a period of five years. But as a child she also developed a love of literature and exceptional observation skills.
Margaret Mead was an anthropologist who, during the 1960s and 70s, became a popular author and public speaker. A prominent figure in the field of cultural anthropology, Mead advocated for an early form of sex-positivity and influenced the sexual revolution of the 60s. Also, she may have been bisexual. So that’s neat.
Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani education activist and the youngest person to ever win a Nobel Prize. She’s won many other awards, including the Anne Frank Award for Moral Courage, and was considered one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Madeleine (Korbelová) Albright was the first women to hold the position of United States Secretary of State. She was born in Czechoslovakia in 1937, but left with her parents for England where she spent the duration of the Second World War.
Nora Ephron was a director, producer, and writer, and you probably know her as the screenwriter of movies like When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and Julie & Julia. She started her writing career as a reporter at the New York Post. While married to Carl Bernstein (yes, that Carl Bernstein), she helped rewrite the screenplay for All the President’s Men. Her script wasn’t used, but it got Ephron her first screenwriting gig.
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