Famous 20th Century Business Women

Find out more about the greatest 20th Century Business Women, including Kim Kardashian, Carly Fiorina, Paris Hilton, Victoria Beckham and Martha Stewart

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Business Women

 1 Dany Garcia

Dany Garcia.
4
Famous As: Producer
Birthdate: November 29, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Miami, Florida

Dany Garcia, founder of The Garcia Companies, is an American media mogul. She offers various services and manages brands, talent and projects on multiple platforms. Her Seven Bucks Productions has produced several successful films like Baywatch, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Jumanji: The Next Level and Rampage. Many of them have been with her ex-husband and action hero Dwayne Johnson.

 2 Joy Mangano

Joy Mangano.
4
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: February 1, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: East Meadow, New York

Before she turned her peculiar inventions into a billion-dollar business empire, Joy Mangano had worked as an airline assistant and a waitress. Her best-known invention has been the Miracle Mop, a self-wringing mop made of plastic. She has also penned a memoir and has inspired the 2015 film Joy.

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 3 Christie Brinkley

Christie Brinkley.
4
Famous As: Model, Actress, Businesswoman
Birthdate: February 2, 1954
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Monroe

Christie Brinkley is an American actress, model, and entrepreneur. Widely regarded as one of the most attractive women ever, Brinkley has been featured on more than 500 magazine covers and was the face of CoverGirl for 25 years! Apart from being an inspiration to aspiring models worldwide, Christie Brinkley has also touched the lives of many through her philanthropic activities.

 4 Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina.
4
Famous As: Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard
Birthdate: September 6, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Austin

Carly Fiorina made history by becoming the first female head of a Dow Jones-listed company when she became the CEO of HP. The daughter of a law professor father, she had initially joined law school but then dropped out to study management. She has also been Ted Cruz’s vice-presidential running mate.

 5 Valerie Jarrett

Valerie Jarrett.
4
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: November 14, 1956
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Shiraz
Valerie Jarrett served as the senior advisor to former president Barack Obama and the director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs from 2009 to 2017. She had previously served Mayor Richard Daley as his deputy chief of staff and had hired Michelle Obama, then-fiancée of Obama.

 6 Maryse Ouellet

Maryse Ouellet.
4
Famous As: Wrestler
Birthdate: January 21, 1983
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Maryse Ouellet is a Canadian-American businesswoman, actress, and professional wrestler. Currently signed to WWE, Ouellet often appears alongside her husband and WWE superstar The Miz. In 2008, Maryse won the WWE Divas Championship and went on to become the third-longest reigning Divas Champion in the history of WWE. In 2009, she was ranked ninth in the PWI Female 50 list.

 7 Gina Rinehart

Gina Rinehart.
3
Famous As: Mining Heiress
Birthdate: February 9, 1954
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Perth

Gina Rinehart is an Australian heiress and mining magnate. She is currently serving as the executive chairman of a privately-owned mineral extraction company called Hancock Prospecting and is credited with expanding the company. In 2012, she became the world's richest woman after overtaking Christy Walton and was named in Forbes magazine's The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list.

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 8 Jill St. John

Jill St. John.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 19, 1940
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Jill St. John is an American actress best known for portraying the first American Bond girl Tiffany Case in the 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever. Jill St. John is also credited with founding the Aunts Club, a group of women who provide financial support for children.

 9 Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson.
4
Famous As: First Lady of the United States
Birthdate: December 22, 1912
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Karnack, Texas, U.S.
Died: July 11, 2007

Lady Bird Johnson was an American socialite who served as the First Lady of the US from 1963 to 1969. As First Lady, Johnson was responsible for the passage of the Highway Beautification Act, which was nicknamed Lady Bird's Bill. She was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1977 and 1988, respectively.

 10 Delta Burke

Delta Burke.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 30, 1956
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Orlando, Florida

Delta Burke is an American actress, author, and producer. She is best known for playing Suzanne Sugarbaker in the popular TV series Designing Women. Despite struggling with issues, such as eating disorders, depression, and overweight, Delta Burke has managed to establish a successful acting career and serves as an inspiration to people suffering from similar problems.

 11 Cindy McCain

Cindy McCain
4
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: May 20, 1954
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Phoenix, Arizona, United States

 12 Tracey Edmonds

Tracey Edmonds.
4
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: February 18, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Businesswoman and TV personality, Tracey Edmonds, is the CEO of Edmonds Entertainment Group Inc. Previously, she hosted the TV show Extra and has created and produced many TV, radio, and music projects. She won an Emmy Award for co-hosting Extra. Currently, she is a  member of the national board of directors for the Producers Guild of America.

 13 Tracey Ullman

Tracey Ullman
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 30, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Slough, Berkshire, England, UK

British-American actor Tracey Ullman began her career with sketch-comedy shows such as Three of a Kind and later had her own Fox show, The Tracey Ullman Show, which featured 30-second segments of The Simpsons in between, making the latter a hit, too. She rose to become the third-richest comedian from Britain.

 14 Eva LaRue

Eva LaRue.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 27, 1966
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Long Beach, California

 15 A'Lelia Walker

A'Lelia Walker
3
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: June 6, 1885
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vicksburg, Mississippi, United States
Died: August 17, 1931

 16 Madge Sinclair

Madge Sinclair.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 28, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: December 20, 1995

The Kingston-born American actress, who began her career with the New York Shakespearean Festival, acted in a number films and television series and won Primetime Emmy Award for her role in the crime drama Gabriel's Fire. Madge Sinclair was also a voice artist in the famous animated film The Lion King, released a year before she succumbed to leukaemia.

 17 Susan Lucci

Susan Lucci
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 23, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Scarsdale, New York, USA

 18 Christie Hefner

Christie Hefner.
3
Famous As: Former CEO of Playboy
Birthdate: November 8, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wilmette, Illinois, United States

 19 Dina Merrill

Dina Merrill.
3
Famous As: Actress, Socialite, Philanthropist
Birthdate: December 29, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.
Died: May 22, 2017
Socialite/actor Dina Merrill was the only child of Post Cereals owner Marjorie Merriweather Post and stockbroker and financier Edward Francis Hutton. Dina served RKO Pictures as their vice chairperson. She also appeared in movies such as The Sundowners and Butterfield 8, and was on the boards of various charitable trusts.

 20 Katherine LaNasa

Katherine LaNasa.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 1, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana

Katherine LaNasa is an American actress known for her starring roles in films like The Campaign and Jayne Mansfield's Car. A former ballet dancer and choreographer, LaNasa started dancing at the age of 12. During the late-1980s, LaNasa assisted choreographer John Carrafa for the 1989 crime and dance drama film Rooftops.

 21 Liliane Bettencourt

Liliane Bettencourt.
3
Famous As: Businesswoman, Socialite
Birthdate: October 21, 1922
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris
Died: September 21, 2017
Former L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt was the world’s richest woman at the time of her death. She had apparently gifted celebrity photographer François-Marie Banier cash and gifts worth a billion euros, leading her daughter to file a case against Banier later. Bettencourt was also involved in medical and cultural philanthropy.

 22 Gemma Collins

Gemma Collins.
3
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: January 31, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Romford, England

Reality star and entrepreneur Gemma Collins soared to fame with reality shows such as The Only Way Is Essex, I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, Celebrity Big Brother, and Dancing on Ice. She later launched her own reality franchise, Gemma Collins: Diva, and her own BBC podcast.

 23 Kathy Ireland

Kathy Ireland.
3
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: March 20, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Glendale

 24 Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham.
0
Famous As: Singer, Businesswoman, Model, Fashion Designer
Birthdate: April 17, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Harlow, Essex, England

An internationally recognized fashion designer and style icon, Victoria Beckham is widely regarded as one of the most powerful women in the UK. She was appointed an OBE for services to the fashion industry in the 2017 New Year Honours. Also a popular singer, she was part of the best-selling female group of all time, Spice Girls.

 25 Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor.
0
Birthdate: February 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hampstead
Died: March 23, 2011

Considered an incandescent beauty, Elizabeth Taylor was a very popular and successful actor and her legacy is an everlasting one. She shone in movies like A Place in the Sun, Giant, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cleopatra, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Butterfield 8 in the 1950s and 60s. Recipient of two Oscars, she married eight times.

 26 Ann Walton Kroenke

Ann Walton Kroenke.
3
Famous As: Heiress to the Walmart Fortune
Birthdate: December 18, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: United States of America

 27 Jenna Jameson

Jenna Jameson.
2
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: April 9, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Las Vegas

‘The Queen of Porn’ with the name of an Irish whisky! Jenna Jameson may have hung up her shoes as a pornographic actress, but the world recognizes her as the most famous adult entertainment performer who dominated the x-rated film world during 1990s and early 2000s. The model and television personality says she is a gang-rape survivor.

 28 Marilyn Miglin

Marilyn Miglin.
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: 1938 AD
Birthplace: Pilsen

The Queen of Makeovers Marilyn Miglin is a known face on the Home Shopping Network. The owner of the fragrance brand Pheromone, Miglin has an entire stretch named after her in Oak Street’s shopping district. She made headlines when her husband, Lee Miglin, was brutally murdered by a serial killer.

 29 Françoise Bettencourt Meyers

Françoise Bettencourt Meyers.
5
Famous As: Author and Board Member of L'Oréal
Birthdate: July 10, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine

L'Oréal heiress Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, the world’s richest woman as of 2020, made headlines when she sued her mother, trying to prove she was mentally incompetent. In spite of being born into luxury, she often ditched parties, and took to writing books on Greek mythology and religious commentaries.

 30 Vanessa Angel

Vanessa Angel.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 10, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London

Discovered by Eileen Ford, Vanessa Angel started modeling at age 14. She transitioned to movies with Spies Like Us and has since worked in several series such as Weird Science and movies such as Kingpin. She missed out on Lucy Lawless’s role in Xena: Warrior Princess due to an illness.

 31 Mary Maxwell Gates

Mary Maxwell Gates.
3
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: July 5, 1929
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington
Died: June 10, 1994

 32 Finola Hughes

Finola Hughes
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 29, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kensington, London, England, UK

Best known as Anna Devane from General Hospital and All My Children, Emmy-winning actor Finola Hughes had started her career with the Northern Ballet Company. She also worked at West End and played Victoria, as part of the original cast of Cats. She and her husband have also adopted two children.

 33 Nancy Kwan

Nancy Kwan.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 19, 1939
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: British Hong Kong
Born to a British mother and a Chinese father, Nancy Kwan became a symbol of the rise of Asian artists in Hollywood. She earned her breakthrough role in The World of Suzie Wong while still a budding ballerina. Following her son’s death due to HIV, she began promoting AIDS awareness.

 34 Estee Lauder

Estee Lauder.
3
Famous As: Founder of the Estée Lauder Companies
Birthdate: July 1, 1908
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Corona, New York City, New York, United States
Died: April 24, 2004

 35 Arlene Dahl

Arlene Dahl
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

 36 Deborah Norville

Deborah Norville.
3
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: August 8, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dalton, Georgia

 37 Leona Helmsley

Leona Helmsley.
3
Famous As: Business Woman
Birthdate: July 4, 1920
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Greenwich, Connecticut, United States
Died: August 20, 2007
Dubbed as the Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsley was a hotel magnate and a convicted felon. Seen as the symbol of arrogance, she first hogged the limelight for marrying entrepreneur Harry Helmsley. Her fall from grace occured when she was named for tax evasion. In 1989, she was convicted of federal income tax evasion and other crimes.

 38 Catherine Hickland

Catherine Hickland.
3
Famous As: Actress, Businesswoman, Author
Birthdate: February 11, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

 39 Jacqueline Mars

Jacqueline Mars.
3
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: October 10, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Washington DC

 40 Anita Roddick

Anita Roddick.
3
Birthdate: October 23, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Littlehampton
Died: September 10, 2007

Anita Roddick was a British businesswoman and human rights activist. She was also a passionate crusader for environmental issues. She founded the British version of The Body Shop, now The Body Shop International Limited. Her company was among the first to prohibit the use of ingredients tested on animals in some products. She was also involved with Greenpeace.  

 41 Sharon Case

Sharon Case.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 9, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan

 42 Mary Kay Ash

Mary Kay Ash.
3
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: May 12, 1918
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hot Wells, Texas, United States
Died: November 22, 2001

 43 Ruth Handler

Ruth Handler
3
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: November 4, 1916
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Died: April 27, 2002

 44 Helena Rubinstein

Helena Rubinstein
2
Famous As: Business women
Birthdate: March 27, 1870
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kraków, Austrian Poland
Died: April 1, 1965

 45 Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken

Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken.
2
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: June 30, 1954
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Amsterdam

Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken is a Dutch-British billionaire businesswoman. She is the owner of a 25% controlling interest in Heineken N.V., the world's second-largest brewer. The daughter of a prominent industrialist, she has a law degree from Leiden University. Upon her father’s death in 2002, she inherited about £3 billion, becoming one of the richest people in the country. 

 46 Laura Ashley

Laura Ashley.
2
Famous As: Founder of 'Laura Ashley' Brand
Birthdate: September 7, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil,, Wales
Died: September 17, 1985

Laura Ashley was a Welsh businesswoman and fashion designer. She is credited with co-founding a British textile design company called Laura Ashley plc, which became an international retail chain after some 20 years from its founding. Two years after her death, the Laura Ashley Foundation was established in order to fund arts and social welfare projects.

 47 Esther Afua Ocloo

Esther Afua Ocloo.
2
Famous As: Co-Founder of Women's World Banking
Birthdate: April 18, 1919
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: South Dayi District, Ghana
Died: February 8, 2002

Ghanaian businesswoman Esther Afua Ocloo, better known as the founder of Women’s World Banking, had stepped into the world of business with less than a dollar. She initially sold marmalade in Ghana and then moved to England to learn food processing, eventually turning into a microlending pioneer.

 48 Jayde Nicole

Jayde Nicole
2
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: February 19, 1986
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Scarborough, Toronto, Canada

 49 Belinda Stronach

Belinda Stronach
2
Famous As: Politician, Businesswoman, Philanthropist
Birthdate: May 2, 1966
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Newmarket

 50 Rosalía Mera

Rosalía Mera
2
Famous As: Businesswoman
Birthdate: January 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: A Coruña, Galicia, Spain
Died: August 15, 2013