Clara Barton was an American nurse best remembered for founding the American Red Cross. She is renowned for her civil rights advocacy and humanitarian work. She also played an important role in the Civil War, serving as a hospital nurse, a patent clerk, and a teacher. In 1973, Barton was made an inductee of the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Margaret Sanger was an American writer and sex educator. She is credited with popularizing the term birth control. A birth control activist, Sanger established the first birth control clinic in America. She also set up organizations that later became the well-known non-profit organization Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She also played a key role in legalizing contraception in the US.
Mary Seacole was a British-Jamaican nurse, businesswoman, and healer. She played a major role during the Crimean War, providing aid for wounded servicemen and nursing them back to health. In 1991, Seacole was posthumously honored with the Jamaican Order of Merit. In 2004, she was named the greatest black Briton for her contribution during the war.
Marie of Romania was a descendant of Queen Victoria and born as the Princess of Edinburgh, before she married King Ferdinand I and became the last queen of Romania. A visual artist and a patron of the Art Nouveau movement, she was also a skilled equestrian and driver.
Elizabeth Kenny was an Australian bush nurse. A self-trained nurse, Kenny pioneered a new and then-controversial method to treat the victims of poliomyelitis. Her method, which she advocated enthusiastically, became the foundation of physiotherapy. Her life and career inspired the 1946 American biographical film Sister Kenny, in which she was played by Rosalind Russell.
Ethel Roosevelt Derby was an American nurse best remembered as the youngest daughter of Theodore Roosevelt. Ethel played an important role in preserving the legacy of her family home and the legacy of her father for future generations. Ethel Roosevelt Derby also played a prominent role during the First World War, serving as a nurse in France.
Mary Eliza Mahoney was an African-American nurse. In 1879, she became the first African American to successfully complete her course from an American school of nursing. She helped eliminate racial discrimination in the nursing profession. Mahoney was made an inductee of the American Nurses Association Hall of Fame and the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1976 and 1993 respectively.
Lillian Wald was an American nurse, author, and humanitarian. She is credited with establishing the Henry Street Settlement, a not-for-profit social service agency in New York City. After founding the agency, Lillian Wald became an activist and fought for the rights of minorities and women. She also supported racial integration and campaigned for suffrage.
Aurora Quezon was a Filipino political figure best remembered for her role as the First Lady of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944. Quezon is also remembered for her humanitarian activities; from 1947 to 1949, she served as the chairperson of the Philippine Red Cross. In the 2018 biographical drama film Quezon's Game, Aurora Quezon was played by Rachel Alejandro.
Constance Kent was an English woman who murdered her half-brother, Francis Saville Kent. She was only 16 years old when she killed her three-year-old half-brother. The murder inspired several works of art, including films and novels.
English ethnographer and traveler Mary Kingsley was the daughter of renowned physician and traveler George Kingsley and the niece of Charles Kingsley. Unlike girls of her era, she was well-educated and later ventured on an exploratory trip to West Africa, becoming the first European to enter remote areas such as Gabon.
Mary Breckinridge was an American nurse midwife best remembered for founding the Frontier Nursing Service, which educates nurse-midwives and provides healthcare services to the rural population. In 1995, Mary Breckinridge was made an inductee of the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Refused entry in the Tour de France because she was a woman, French athlete Marie Marvingt finished the course by herself. An aviator and mountaineer, too, she later made many sporting records. She was the first female fighter pilot. She had also been a journalist, a medical officer, and a ski school instructor.
Mary Ann Bickerdyke was an American medical worker who played an important role during the American Civil War, serving as a hospital administrator for Union soldiers. She is also credited with setting up 300 field hospitals during the war. A lifelong advocate for veterans, Mary Bickerdyke also served as a lawyer and assisted veterans to obtain pensions after the war.
Clara Maass was an American nurse who volunteered as a contract nurse and served in the United States Army during the Spanish-American War. She served again in the Eighth U.S. Army Corps from 1899 to 1900. After her second assignment with the army, Clara Maass volunteered for experiments to study yellow fever. She died of the disease at age 25.
Following the Irish Potato Famine, Irish-born Nellie Cashman and her family moved to the US. She launched a boarding house with her mother in Nevada and soon opened several restaurants. She led a rescue team to trapped gold miners in Cassiar and later became a gold prospector herself.
Mary Adelaide Nutting was a Canadian educator, nurse, and a pioneer in the field of nursing. She is best remembered for her association with the Johns Hopkins University, where she helped found a modern nursing program. Mary Adelaide Nutting was also part of an experimental program at the Teachers College in Columbia University.
Jane Delano was an American nurse best remembered for founding the American Red Cross Nursing Service. She is also remembered for her service as the president of an organization named the American Nurses Association. Jane Delano is a member of the American Nurses Association Hall of Fame.
Julia Dempsey was an American nurse, hospital administrator, and religious sister. She worked as an assistant to Dr. William J. Mayo, who called her the best among all his assistants. Julia Dempsey is also credited with establishing Saint Mary’s Hospital Training School for Nurses.
Mary J. Safford was an American nurse, educator, physician, and humanitarian. She served alongside Mary Ann Bickerdyke during the American Civil War, treating the injured and sick near Fort Donelson. She also served in Cairo, Illinois, earning her the nickname Cairo Angel. Mary Safford later became a gynecologist and was the first woman in the US to perform an ovariotomy.
Jane Currie Blaikie Hoge was an American nurse, fund raiser, and welfare worker during the American Civil War. Before the war, she established a homeless shelter in Chicago. During the war, Hoge helped recruit nurses for the Union army. After the war, Jane Currie Blaikie Hoge raised funds to help rebuild her nation.
Lucy Minnigerode was an American nurse best remembered for her service during the First World War. She is credited with founding the US Public Health Service Nursing Corps. In 1925, the International Committee of the Red Cross honored her with the Florence Nightingale Medal, making Lucy Minnigerode the eighth American recipient of the prestigious medal.