Inspirational Women

Sheyann Webb (1956- )

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Smallest Freedom Fighter" Sheyann Webb grew up in a family of eight children in Selma, Alabama and attended a segregated public... continue »

Caresse Crosby (born Mary Phelps Jacob) Invented Bra

Freed American women from corsets by designing and patenting a bra (1913) Mary Phelps Jacob (1892-1970) wanted something more comfortable than a corset to wear... continue »

Libby Riddles (1956- )

American dogsledder and first woman to win the Iditarod, 1985 The Iditarod is a grueling 1152-mile trans-Alaska dogsled race in which male mushers dominated until... continue »

Annie Oakley (1860-1926)

Sharpshooter who presented an early image of a powerful woman While Annie Oakley (born Phoebe Ann Mosey) is a familiar name to all Americans, she... continue »

Nancy Lieberman (1958- )

Achieved many basketball firsts. Nancy Lieberman was the first high school student, male or female, to make a U.S. Olympic basketball team. She was part... continue »

Edith Houghton (1912-2013)

First woman hired to be a scout for a major league baseball team Edith Houghton was 10 years old when she became the starting shortstop... continue »

Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994)

First American woman to win 3 Olympic gold medals in track and field, 1960 Wilma Rudolph was born in St. Bethlehem, Tennessee, and she weighed... continue »

Kitty O’Neil (1947-2018), Stuntwoman

Athlete, Record-Setter, and First Woman in Stunts Unlimited Kitty O’Neil was a champion swimmer, an award-winning diver, and a racer in motorcycle and car competitions.... continue »

Elsie S. Ott (1913-2006)

First woman to receive the Air Medal, 1943 Second Lieutenant Elsie S. Ott was a pioneer in air evacuation of military casualties. As World War... continue »

Oveta Culp Hobby (1905-1995)

First Director of Women's Army Corps Oveta Culp was born in Killeen, Texas, to parents from whom she learned the tradition of service to one’s... continue »

Loretta Walsh: First Woman to Enlist in Navy

Loretta Perfectus Walsh was the first woman to enlist in the U.S. Navy (March 17, 1917) and the first woman to reach the rank of... continue »

Sarah Emma Edmonds (1841-1898)

Civil War Soldier Sarah Emma Edmonds served during the Civil War using the alias Franklin... continue »