American Female Educators

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 Female Educators

 1 
Helen Keller
(Author, First Deafblind Person to Earn a B.A. Degree)

Helen Keller
21
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.

 2 
Margaret Sanger
(Birth Control Activist Who Opened the First Birth Control Clinic in the United States)

Margaret Sanger
4
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.

 3 
Christa McAuliffe
(Former Astronaut who was chosen for the STS-51-L mission from among 11,000 applications)

Christa McAuliffe
4
Birthdate: September 2, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: January 28, 1986

Christa McAuliffe was an American astronaut and teacher who died while serving as a payload specialist on board Space Shuttle Challenger, which exploded during STS-51-L. McAuliffe was all set to become the first teacher in space as she was part of the NASA Teacher in Space Project. In 2004, she was posthumously honored with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

 4 
Anne Sullivan
(Educator)

Anne Sullivan
9
Birthdate: April 14, 1866
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Agawam, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 20, 1936

 5 
Katie Porter
(Politician)

Katie Porter
7
Birthdate: January 3, 1974
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fort Dodge, Iowa, U.S.

Currently a member of the House of Representative from the 45th Congressional District in Orange County, California, American politician Katie Porter practiced law before taking up teaching as her full time profession. Eventually she won the 2018 election to the House and is now a member of the House Natural Resources Committee and deputy chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

 6 
Sonya Curry
(Dell Curry's Wife)

Sonya Curry
6
Birthdate: May 30, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Radford, Virginia, United States

The wife of NBA star Dell Curry and the mother of basketball players Seth and Stephen Curry, Sonya Curry grew up amid poverty and often had racist encounters with the Ku Klux Klan. Once a star volleyball player at Virginia Tech, she now heads the Christian Montessori School founded by her.

 7 
Betty Shabazz
(Educator and Activist Best Known as the Wife of African-American Activist Malcolm X)

Betty Shabazz
9
Birthdate: May 28, 1934
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pinehurst, Georgia, United States
Died: June 23, 1997

Civil rights activist and educator Betty Shabazz, or Betty X, was the wife of Black nationalist leader Malcolm X. Raised by her adoptive parents in Detroit, she met Malcolm X at a Nation of Islam event in Harlem. She died when her apartment was set on fire set by her grandson.

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 8 
Jane Elliott
(Educator Known for Her ‘Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes’ Exercise)

Jane Elliott
6
Birthdate: November 30, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Riceville, Iowa, United States

Jane Elliott is an American schoolteacher best known for inventing and popularizing the Blue eyes/Brown eyes exercise. The exercise, which was first conducted on April 5, 1968, with her third-grade class, aims at helping people understand the ill-effects of racial discrimination. The classroom exercise has inspired a couple of documentaries namely The Eye of the Storm and The Angry Eye.  

 9 
Lola Van Wagenen
(Historians)

Lola Van Wagenen
4
Birthdate: November 30, 1933, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Provo, Utah, United States

Lola Van Wagenen is an American historian who is credited with co-founding non-profit educational organizations like Consumer Action Now (CAN) and Clio Visualizing History, Inc. Consumer Action Now went on to establish several environmental education and consumer-oriented programs in an attempt to raise awareness about the effects of consumers' buying habits on the environment.

 10 
Marilyn Milian
(Judge, TV personality)

Marilyn Milian
4
Birthdate: May 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Astoria, New York, United States

 11 
Erin Murphy
(Actress)

Erin Murphy
6
Birthdate: June 17, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Encino, California, USA

 12 
Sylvia Earle
(Marine biologist)

Sylvia Earle
7
Birthdate: August 30, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gibbstown, New Jersey, U.S.
Sylvia Earle is known for her research on marine algae and she was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Earle held the world record for the deepest untethered dive and was named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet, in 1998. She also featured in Netflix Original documentary Seaspiracy.

 13 
Linda Lee Cadwell
(Teacher & Bruce Lee's Widow)

Linda Lee Cadwell
4
Birthdate: March 21, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Everett, Washington, United States
Linda Lee Cadwell, former wife of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, is a teacher and author who met Bruce at a Kung Fu workshop in Seattle. Her memoir Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew inspired Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. She was a trustee of the Bruce Lee Foundation.

 14 
Mamie Till
(Activist)

Mamie Till
5
Birthdate: November 23, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: near Webb, Mississippi, USA
Died: January 6, 2003

 15 

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

 16 

Pamela Des Barres
6
Birthdate: September 9, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reseda, California, USA

 17 
Maya Soetoro-Ng
(Educator, Maternal half-sister to Barack Obama)

Maya Soetoro-Ng
5
Birthdate: August 15, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Indonesia

Maya Soetoro-Ng is the maternal half-sister of former American President Barack Obama. She is currently working as a consultant for the Obama Foundation and is credited with working towards the development of the Asia-Pacific Leaders Program. She is also credited with co-founding nonprofit organizations, such as Institute for Climate and Peace and The Peace Studio.

 18 
Lauren Lane
(Actress)

Lauren Lane
5
Birthdate: February 2, 1961
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

 19 
Louise Lasser
(Actress)

Louise Lasser
7
Birthdate: April 11, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 20 
Ruby Wax
(Actress)

Ruby Wax
5
Birthdate: April 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States

Essie Mae Washington-Williams
5
Birthdate: October 12, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Aiken, South Carolina, USA
Died: February 4, 2013

In 2003, Essie Mae Washington-Williams made headlines when she announced that she was the illegitimate, bi-racial child of senator Strom Thurmond and his Black maid. It is believed Essie’s mother was 16 when she had her, and that Thurmond didn’t accept her, as he was politically pro-segregation.

 22 
Uta Hagen
(Actress)

Uta Hagen
4
Birthdate: June 12, 1919
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Göttingen, Germany
Died: January 14, 2004

 23 
Carol S. Dweck
(Best Known for Her Work on The 'Mindset' of Psychological Traits)

Carol S. Dweck
4
Birthdate: October 17, 1976
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Renowned psychologist Carol S. Dweck has taught at both Columbia and Harvard and is now a professor at Stanford. She is best known for her research on fixed mindset and growth mindset and has also penned popular books such as Self-theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality and Development.

 24 
Amy Chua
(Lawyer)

Amy Chua
5
Birthdate: October 26, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Champaign, Illinois Champaign, Illinois, U.S.

 25 
Virginia Johnson
(Sexologist)

Virginia Johnson
5
Birthdate: February 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Springfield, Missouri, United States
Died: July 24, 2013

 26 

T'Keyah Crystal Keymah
4
Birthdate: October 13, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

 27 
Lacey Schwimmer
(Ballroom Dancer)

Lacey Schwimmer
6
Birthdate: June 28, 1988
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Redlands, California, United States

 28 

Regina S Peruggi
4
Birthdate: 1947 AD

Regina S Peruggi is an educator, who became the first woman to become president of Kingsborough Community College. Prior to this, she served as president of Marymount Manhattan College. She has been on the board of directors of many educational institutions. She was honored as a New York State Senate Woman of Distinction in 2006.

 29 
Lis Wiehl
(Author of fiction and nonfiction books, and a legal analyst)

Lis Wiehl
4
Birthdate: August 19, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Yakima, Washington, United States

 30 
Deborah Sampson
(Military woman)

Deborah Sampson
4
Birthdate: December 17, 1760
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Plympton, Massachusetts, USA
Died: April 29, 1827

 31 
Amber Nash
(Actress)

Amber Nash
7
Birthdate: June 6, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

 32 
Mary Harris Jones
(Labor and Community Organizer, Schoolteacher)

Mary Harris Jones
4
Birthdate: May 1, 1837
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cork, Ireland
Died: November 30, 1930

After losing her husband and children in a yellow fever epidemic and her dress shop in the great Chicago fire, schoolteacher and dressmaker Mary Harris Jones became an activist, earning the nickname Mother Jones. A prominent unionist for coal miners and other workers, she also co-founded the Social Democratic Party.

 33 
Marva Collins
(American educator)

Marva Collins
4
Birthdate: August 31, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Monroeville, Alabama, United States
Died: June 24, 2015

 34 
Jesmyn Ward
(Novelist)

Jesmyn Ward
4
Birthdate: April 2, 1977
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: DeLisle, Mississippi, US

 35 
Emma Willard
(American activist)

Emma Willard
3
Birthdate: February 23, 1787
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Connecticut, United States
Died: April 15, 1870

 36 
Kami Cotler
(Actress)

Kami Cotler
6
Birthdate: June 17, 1965
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States

 37 
Pema Chodron
(American Tibetan Buddhist)

Pema Chodron
6
Birthdate: July 14, 1936
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Pema Chodron is an American Tibetan Buddhist and an ordained nun. Born as Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in New York, she began studying with Tibetan Buddhist Lama Chime Rinpoche as a young woman. She eventually became a fully ordained nun or bhikṣuṇī. She is the author of several dozen books and audiobooks. She is the principal teacher at Gampo Abbey. 

 38 
Judy Chu
(Politician)

Judy Chu
4
Birthdate: July 7, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

 39 
Diana Canova
(Actress)

Diana Canova
6
Birthdate: June 1, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: West Palm Beach, Florida, United States

 40 
Liz Murray
(Inspirational speaker)

Liz Murray
6
Birthdate: September 23, 1980
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA

 41 
Joyce Maynard
(Novelists)

Joyce Maynard
6
Birthdate: November 5, 1953
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Exeter, New Hampshire, USA

Rebecca Latimer Felton
3
Birthdate: June 10, 1835
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Decatur, Georgia, U.S.
Died: January 24, 1930

 43 
Karen Pence
(Educator)

Karen Pence
40
Birthdate: January 1, 1957
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kansas, USA
Former second lady of the United States, Karen Pence is the wife of Mike Pence who served as American President from 2017 to 2021. Karen also served as the first lady of Indiana from 2013 to 2017 during her husband's term as governor of the state. In 2019, she returned as a part-time art teacher for Immanuel Christian School.

 44 

Michelle Alexander
6
Birthdate: October 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 45 
Fei-Fei Li
(Computer scientist)

Fei-Fei Li
4
Birthdate: 1976 AD
Birthplace: Beijing

 46 

Lillian Moller Gilbreth
4
Birthdate: May 24, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Died: January 2, 1972

 47 
Anita Hill
(American Lawyer Who in 1991 Accused U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Clarence Thomas of Sexual Harassment)

Anita Hill
24
Birthdate: July 30, 1956
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lone Tree, Oklahoma, United States

 48 
Amy Cuddy
(Psychologist)

Amy Cuddy
4
Birthdate: June 23, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Robesonia, Pennsylvania, USA

 49 
Rachel Dolezal
(Controversial Activist Known for Presenting Herself as a Black Woman Despite Having Been Born to White Parents)

Rachel Dolezal
15
Birthdate: November 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lincoln County, Montana, United States

While she claimed she was a transracial Black woman, former NAACP branch president Rachel Dolezal was revealed to be a white woman passing off as Black when her parents spoke to the media. Following the mass protests after the revelation, she was fired from Eastern Washington University, her workplace.

 50 
Mary Ainsworth
(Psychologist)

Mary Ainsworth
3
Birthdate: December 1, 1913
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Glendale, Ohio, United States
Died: March 21, 1999

American-Canadian developmental psychologist Mary Ainsworth is best remembered for her contributions in developing the attachment theory. She devised the Strange situation procedure during the 1970s to observe early emotional connect and relationship between a caregiver and child. She was ranked as the 97th most cited psychologist of the 20th century in a 2002 survey of Review of General Psychology.