American Women Activists

Throughout history, there have been many American women activists who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great American female activists such as Angelina Jolie, Betty White, Hillary Clinton, Rosa Parks, Shailene Woodley.

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 American Women Activists

 1 
Harriet Tubman
(Activist and Abolitionist Known for Her Efforts in Rescuing Slaves and Abolition of Slavery)

Harriet Tubman
17
Birthdate: 1822
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dorchester County, Maryland, United States
Died: March 10, 1913

Born to parents who were bonded slaves, Harriet Tubman life was a difficult one from the very beginning. Yet with her remarkable courage and determination, she not only escaped slavery herself, but also led other enslaved people to freedom. The prominent political activist and abolitionist was also the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the American Civil War.

 2 
Rosa Parks
(The First Lady of Civil Rights)

Rosa Parks
23
Birthdate: February 4, 1913
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tuskegee, Alabama, United States
Died: October 24, 2005

Rosa Parks, “the first lady of civil rights,” was a pioneer in the American revolution against color segregation and racism. Her refusal to leave her bus seat to a white passenger gave rise to the iconic Montgomery Bus Boycott, which also led her to work with Martin Luther King Jr.

 3 
Helen Keller
(Author, First Deafblind Person to Earn a B.A. Degree)

Helen Keller
6
Birthdate: June 27, 1880
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tuscumbia, Alabama, United States
Died: June 1, 1968

A prolific author, having written 12 published books and several articles, Helen Keller was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her autobiography, The Story of My Life, made Keller famous and was adapted for film and stage. She was also an activist and campaigned for women's suffrage, labour rights, socialism and other such causes.

 4 
Susan B. Anthony
(Women’s Rights Activist)

Susan B. Anthony
12
Birthdate: February 15, 1820
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Adams, Massachusetts, United States
Died: March 13, 1906

Susan B. Anthony's vital role in the women's suffrage movement changed the course of history. She led one of the two national suffrage organizations, which later became the National American Woman Suffrage Association, with Susan as its leading force. She also played an instrumental role in publishing The Revolution, a women's rights newspaper.

 5 
Ashley Judd
(Best Known for Her Role in the Movie 'Double Jeopardy')

Ashley Judd
4
Birthdate: April 19, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ashley Judd is a popular American actress who is vocal about topics, such as sexual assault. As a three-time rape survivor—as claimed by her—Ashley serves as an inspiration to rape survivors around the world. Known for her humanitarian work, Ashley has worked on gender equality for over a decade. She is also famous for her political activities.

 6 
Alyssa Milano
(Actress and Political Activist Known for Her Role in the 'MeToo Movement')

Alyssa Milano
4
Birthdate: December 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bensonhurst, New York, United States
An unexpected audition led a young Alyssa Milano to her role in touring musical Annie. She became a teen star with sitcom Who's the Boss?. A bit of struggle later, she finally bagged her big break as an adult in the television show Charmed. Alyssa Milano is also a political activist and UNICEF Ambassador.

 7 
Laverne Cox
(First Transgender Person To Appear on Cover of 'Time' Magazine)

Laverne Cox
16
Birthdate: May 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mobile, Alabama, United States
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 8 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
4
Birthdate: October 13, 1989
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

 9 
Leah Remini
(Actress)

Leah Remini
5
Birthdate: September 16, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Leah Remini is best known as Carrie Heffernan from The King of Queens and Vanessa from Kevin Can Wait. She also appeared in Dancing with the Stars. She was raised a Scientologist, but turned against the faith later, releasing an explanatory memoir and an Emmy-winning documentary series on the same.

 10 
Daryl Hannah
(Actress Best Known for Her Role in the Films: 'Kill Bill', 'Blade Runner' and 'Splash')

Daryl Hannah
5
Birthdate: December 3, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Daryl Hannah is best known for her Saturn Award-winning performances as Madison in Splash and Elle Driver in the Kill Bill movies. In 2017, she claimed she had been sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein in the past. Hannah is a vegan and has struggled with autism in childhood.

 11 
Fran Drescher
(Actress, Comedian)

Fran Drescher
6
Birthdate: October 30, 1957
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Flushing, New York, United States

Fran Drescher is an American actress and comedian. Characterized by her thick New York accent and nasal voice, Fran Drescher serves as an inspiration to many cancer patients as she successfully fought off the disease after suffering from uterine cancer. She is also an outspoken LGBT rights activist and healthcare advocate.

 12 
Sojourner Truth
(Women's rights activist)

Sojourner Truth
8
Birthdate: 1797 AD
Birthplace: Rifton, New York, United States
Died: November 26, 1883

Sojourner Truth was an American women's rights activist and abolitionist. Born into slavery, Truth escaped to freedom in 1826. She then approached the court to recover her son, subsequently becoming the first black woman to emerge successful against a white man in such a case. In 2014, she was named in Smithsonian's 100 Most Significant Americans of All Time list.

 13 
Erin Brockovich
(Environmental Activist)

Erin Brockovich
6
Birthdate: June 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lawrence, Kansas

Legal consultant, environmental activist, and consumer activist Erin Brockovich is known for suing California-based Pacific Gas & Electric Company, alleging them of contamination of water with hexavelent chromium, in 1993. Her story inspired the Julia Roberts-starrer 2000 movie Erin Brockovich. She has written two books and hosted TV shows, too.

 14 
Pauley Perrette
(Television Actress, Activist, Singer)

Pauley Perrette
21
Birthdate: March 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Pauley Perrette is a former actress, singer, and writer. Perrette is best known for portraying Abby Sciuto from 2003 to 2018 on the popular police procedural TV series NCIS. Also an activist, Pauley Perrette supports several animal rescue organizations, LGBT rights organizations, and civil rights organizations. Over the years, she has been an ardent supporter of the American Red Cross.

 15 
Linda McCartney
(Photographer)

Linda McCartney
6
Birthdate: September 4, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Scarsdale, New York, United States
Died: April 17, 1998
Linda McCartney, the first wife of Paul McCartney, formed the band Wings with her husband, after the Beatles disbanded. An animal rights activist, she wrote several vegetarian cookbooks, apart from launching Linda McCartney Foods. She was also a skilled photographer and published a photo book. She died of breast cancer.  

 16 
Angela Davis
(Political Activist)

Angela Davis
17
Birthdate: January 26, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Birmingham

Activist, philosopher, academic and author, Angela Davis is a founding member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). She has worked in the areas of feminism, class, race and the US prison system. She has also received criticism for supporting the erstwhile Soviet Union and has been accused of supporting political violence.

 17 
Angelina Jolie
(Hollywood's Highest-Paid Actress In Her Hey Days)

Angelina Jolie
18
Birthdate: June 4, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

A fashion icon, acclaimed actress, influential humanitarian and Special Envoy for the UNHCR, Angelina Jolie is a highly noted celebrity in Hollywood. She has been hailed for her philanthropic efforts around the globe and praised for her power packed performances. Mother of six, of whom three are adopted, Angelina Jolie is a role model for the women of this generation.

 18 
Eartha Kitt
(Singer with a Distinctive Voice Known for her Hits "Let's Do It", and "C'est si bon")

Eartha Kitt
4
Birthdate: January 17, 1927
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: North, South Carolina, United States
Died: December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt was an American actress, comedian, dancer, and singer-songwriter. Renowned for her distinctive singing style, Kitt recorded several chartbusting songs during the 1950s. Also a well-known activist, Eartha Kitt established a non-profit organization called the Kittsville Youth Foundation, which helped underprivileged youths in Los Angeles. She was also an ardent advocate for same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

 19 
Margot Kidder
(Actress)

Margot Kidder
5
Birthdate: October 17, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Yellowknife, Canada
Died: May 13, 2018

Margot Kidder is best remembered for her roles as Lois Lane in the Superman movie franchise and as Kathy Lutz in The Amityville Horror. Fans also loved her in the hit Broadway play The Vagina Monologues. She was a vocal anti-war and pro-environment activist. She eventually died by suicide.

 20 
Elizabeth Smart
(Child Safety Activist and Commentator for ABC News Known for Her Abduction at the Age of 14)

Elizabeth Smart
13
Birthdate: November 3, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Elizabeth Smart is a child safety activist who gained national attention when she was kidnapped from her home at the age of 14. She was held captive for nine months before she was rescued by the cops. Smart went on to become an activist and works against human trafficking and abduction. In 2011, she became the founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation.

 21 
Ali MacGraw
(Actress)

Ali MacGraw
4
Birthdate: April 1, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Pound Ridge, New York, United States

A veteran actress with a career spanning over half a century, Ali MacGraw first came to prominence in the 1970s after acting in many popular action and romantic films. She was also active on the stage and in TV shows. Besides acting, she has been an animal rights advocate throughout her life.

 22 
Ruby Bridges
(Philanthropist)

Ruby Bridges
8
Birthdate: September 8, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tylertown
American civil rights activist Ruby Bridges became the first African-American child to attend an all-white educational institute when she joined the Louisiana-based William Frantz Elementary School in November 1960. She was the subject of Norman Rockwell’s painting The Problem We All Live With and the TV movie Ruby Bridges.

 23 
Marlo Thomas
(Actress)

Marlo Thomas
4
Birthdate: November 21, 1937
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, USA

 24 
Jazz Jennings
(LGBTQ Rights Activist, Internet Personality, Spokesmodel)

Jazz Jennings
6
Birthdate: October 6, 2000
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Florida

 25 

Marcheline Bertrand
4
Birthdate: May 9, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Blue Island, Illinois, United States
Died: January 27, 2007

Marcheline Bertrand was an American actress. The former wife of Jon Voight and the mother of Angelina Jolie, Marcheline Bertrand had a brief acting career. She had a greater impact as a humanitarian as she co-founded an organization called All Tribes Foundation in an attempt to provide economic and cultural benefits to Native Americans.

 26 
Shailene Woodley
(Actress & Environmental Activist)

Shailene Woodley
19
Birthdate: November 15, 1991
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Bernardino County, California, United States

A child model at four and a television actor at eight, Shailene Woodley began working early and found fame with The Descendants, The Spectacular Now and the Divergent film series. She later gained tremendous appreciation for her work in the movie The Fault in Our Stars and HBO series Big Little Lies. The award winning actress is also an environmentalist and activist

 27 
Cynthia Nixon
(Actress)

Cynthia Nixon
5
Birthdate: April 9, 1966
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States

Apart from being one of the most popular American actresses, Cynthia Nixon is also a well-known activist. Being an openly bisexual actress, she also serves as an inspiration to the LGBTQ community. Cynthia is a cancer survivor and continues to inspire people affected with cancer.

 28 

Maya Angelou
4
Birthdate: April 4, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: May 28, 2014
Poet, author, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou was a champion for black feminism and is best remembered for her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing. The recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and over 50 honorary degrees was also a child sex abuse survivor.

 29 
Margaret Sanger
(Birth Control Activist Who Opened the First Birth Control Clinic in the United States)

Margaret Sanger
5
Birthdate: September 14, 1879
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Corning, New York, United States
Died: September 6, 1966

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.

 30 
Rosie Perez
(Actress)

Rosie Perez
5
Birthdate: September 6, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bushwick, New York, United States
Rosa Perez is best known for her Academy Award-nominated role of Carla Rodrigo in Fearless and her Emmy-nominated choreography in the series In Living Color. She has also appeared in Broadway plays such as The Ritz and has co-hosted The View. She is also associated with major HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns.

 31 
Coretta Scott King
(Civil Rights Activist, Author)

Coretta Scott King
11
Birthdate: April 27, 1927
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Heiberger, Alabama, United States
Died: January 30, 2006

The American civil rights activist was an ideal foil for her famous husband Martin Luther King Jr. in promoting racial equality. The author and singer led the Women's Movement and fought for the rights of the LGBT community. She was also known for mobilising African-Americans during the 1960 US presidential election. She founded the King Centre, a not-for-profit organization.

 32 

Rowan Blanchard
5
Birthdate: October 14, 2001
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Rowan Blanchard is best known as Rebecca Wilson from Spy Kids: All the Time in the World. Named one of Time’s Most Influential Teens in 2015, she also appeared as Riley Matthews in the Disney series Girl Meets World and was seen in the series The Goldbergs and Snowpiercer, too.

 33 
Afeni Shakur
(Activist)

Afeni Shakur
7
Birthdate: January 22, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lumberton, North Carolina, United States
Died: May 2, 2016

Afeni Shakur was a political activist best known as the mother of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur. Afeni Shakur was an important member of the popular political organization Black Panther Party where she mentored new members like Jamal Joseph, Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, and Cleo Silvers.

 34 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
(Women’s Rights Activist)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
4
Birthdate: November 12, 1815
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Johnstown
Died: October 26, 1902

 35 
Barbara Bush
(Activist)

Barbara Bush
6
Birthdate: November 25, 1981
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dallas, United States

 36 
Ida B. Wells
(Women's Rights Activist and Civil Rights Leader)

Ida B. Wells
4
Birthdate: July 16, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 25, 1931
Civil rights and women's rights activist Ida B. Wells is remembered for speaking up against the lynching of Blacks in the U.S. She was born a slave and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. She later co-founded the NAACP. She also co-owned and wrote for Memphis Free Speech and Headlight.

 37 
Margaret Cho
(Actress & Comedian Known for Her Role in 'All-American Girl' and '30 Rock')

Margaret Cho
4
Birthdate: December 5, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States

Stand-up comedian, actress, and fashion designer Margaret Cho is best known for creating and starring in the ABC sitcom All-American Girl. She had a difficult childhood marred by sexual abuse and struggled for years to build a successful career. Besides comedy, she has her own clothing line. She actively supports women’s rights and LGBTQA+ rights. 

 38 
Alice Paul
(Women's rights activist)

Alice Paul
3
Birthdate: January 11, 1885
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey, United States
Died: July 9, 1977

 39 
Alice Walker
(The First African-American Woman to Win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)

Alice Walker
6
Birthdate: February 9, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Eatonton, Georgia, United States
Author Alice Walker is best known for her National Book Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple. She is credited with coining the term womanist, to mean feminist of color. Her marriage with Melvyn Roseman Leventhal was the first official interracial marriage in the state of Mississippi.

 40 
Dorothy Day
(Journalist, Social Activist)

Dorothy Day
3
Birthdate: November 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: November 29, 1980

 41 

AnnaLynne McCord
4
Birthdate: July 16, 1987
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

 42 

Sally Struthers
4
Birthdate: July 28, 1947
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States

Sally Struthers is an American actress best known for playing Gloria Stivic in the popular sitcom television series All in the Family, for which she received a couple of Emmy Awards. Also a well-known activist, Struthers has been working towards improving the lives of impoverished children as part of her work as a spokesperson for the child development organization, ChildFund.

 43 
Temple Grandin
(Scientist)

Temple Grandin
6
Birthdate: August 29, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Temple Grandin is an American activist and scientist. An outspoken proponent of the neurodiversity and autism rights movements, Grandin is one of the first individuals to document the insights gained from her own experience of autism. She has also authored over 60 scientific papers on animal behavior. Her life and work inspired the 2010 biographical drama film Temple Grandin.

 44 
Jill Stein
(Physician)

Jill Stein
5
Birthdate: May 14, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Jill Stein is a physician who later became the presidential nominee for the Green Party in the 2012 and 2016 elections. She has also been the Green-Rainbow Party's candidate for the governorship of Massachusetts in 2002 and 2010. She believed in the Green New Deal, including climate change reforms.

 45 

Holly Robinson Peete
4
Birthdate: September 18, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

 46 
Katie Hill
(Politician)

Katie Hill
7
Birthdate: August 25, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Abilene, Texas, U.S.

 47 
Indya Moore
(Actress)

Indya Moore
4
Birthdate: January 17, 1995
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States

 48 
Jenifer Lewis
(Actress)

Jenifer Lewis
4
Birthdate: January 25, 1957
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kinloch, Missouri, USA

 49 

Mary McLeod Bethune
4
Birthdate: July 10, 1875
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mayesville, South Carolina, United States
Died: May 18, 1955

Bell Hooks
3
Birthdate: September 25, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hopkinsville, Kentucky, United States
Died: December 15, 2021