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Top 100 Women of History

Top Women on the Web


Top 100 Women of History - Introduction | How I Selected and Sequenced the List | More Women A-Z

Who are the most popular women of history, on the Net? Here's a section of the list of the top 100 in popularity. If the name is underlined, you'll find a biography or article about her.

Are the results what you expected? I had a lot of surprises, myself. If you don't find a favorite, it's likely that I did look her up (I included more than 300 women in my research), but her web popularity, over a number of years, just didn't stack up. Solution? More media exposure, more attention to history standards, more education.

100. Rachel Carson

Portrait of dancer Isadora Duncan (1878-1927), postcard, 1903
DEA / G. DAGLI ORTI/ De Agostini Picture Library/ Getty Images
Pioneer environmentalist Rachel Carson wrote the book that helped create the environmentalist movement in the late 20th century.

99. Isadora Duncan

Isadora Duncan brought modern dance to the world, while living (and dying) with personal tragedy.

98. Artemisia

Ruler of Halicarnassus, Artemisia helped Xerxes defeat the Greeks and then helped talk him into abandoning the war against the Greeks.

97. Martha Graham

Martha Graham was a dancer and choreographer best known as a leader of the modern dance (expressionist) movement, expressing emotion through dance.

96. Angela Davis

Her support for revolutionary black activist George Jackson led to her arrest as a conspirator in the abortive attempt to free Jackson from a Marin County, California, courtroom. Angela Davis was acquitted of all charges, and continues to teach and write about feminism, black issues and economics.

95. Golda Meir

Golda Meir, a labor activist, Zionist and politician, was the fourth prime minister of the State of Israel and second woman prime minister in the world. The Yom Kippur War, between Arabs and Israelis, was fought during her term as prime minister.

94. Elizabeth Blackwell

Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman in the world to graduate from medical school. Blackwell was also a pioneer in the education of women in medicine.

93. Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein was a writer and associate of many of the 20th century's writers and artists. Her salon in Paris was a center of modern culture. She's known for her stream-of-consciousness style.

92. Caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy (Schlossberg) is a lawyer and writer, including a 1995 book on privacy. She values her own privacy and that of her family though she's been in the public eye since her father, John F. Kennedy, took office as President in 1961. She served in 2008 as head of the team to select a Vice President for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

91. Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead was an American anthropologist whose groundbreaking work, especially in Samoa in the 1920s, was attacked after her death as faulty. She emphasized cultural evolution and personal observation.
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