American Female Educators

Vote for Your Favourite American Female Educators

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 1 
Christa McAuliffe
(American Astronaut Who was Killed on the Space Shuttle 'Challenger' on Mission STS-51-L)
Christa McAuliffe
11
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.

 2 
Anne Sullivan
(Educator)
Anne Sullivan
22
Birthdate: April 14, 1866
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Agawam, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 20, 1936
 3 
Margaret Sanger
(Birth Control Activist Who Opened the First Birth Control Clinic in the United States)
Margaret Sanger
11
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.

 4 
Betty Shabazz
(Educator and Activist Best Known as the Wife of African-American Activist Malcolm X)
Betty Shabazz
14
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.

 5 
Sonya Curry
(American Educator and Mother of Basketball Players ‘Stephen Curry’ and ‘Seth Curry’)
Sonya Curry
13
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.

 6 
Jane Elliott
(Educator Known for Her ‘Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes’ Exercise)
Jane Elliott
11
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.  

 7 
Ruth Westheimer
(German-American Sex Therapist, Media Personality and Holocaust Survivor)
Ruth Westheimer
9
Birthdate: June 4, 1928
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Frankfurt am Main, Germany
German-American sex therapist Ruth Westheimer, also known as Dr. Ruth, soared to fame with the radio show Sexually Speaking and later hosted many sexuality-related shows and wrote many books, too. She is also an ethnographer and a Holocaust survivor. Her life inspired the documentary Ask Dr. Ruth.
 8 
Lola Van Wagenen
(Historian and Co-Founder of ‘Consumer Action Now’)
Lola Van Wagenen
7
Birthdate: 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.

 9 
Mamie Till
(American Civil Rights Activist, Who Lost Her Son 'Emmett Till' to a Racist Attack)
Mamie Till
8
Birthdate: November 23, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Webb, Mississippi, United States
Died: January 6, 2003

Following the violent lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till by a group of white men, his mother Mamie Till-Mobley made a marked contribution to the fight against racism. She became a prominent civil rights activist and established the Emmett Till Players, a group that lectured on hope and unity.

 10 
Helen Keller
(American Author and First Deaf-Blind Person to Earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree)
Helen Keller
29
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.

 11 
Erin Murphy
(Actress)
Erin Murphy
10
Birthdate: June 17, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Encino, California, USA
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
 12 
Marilyn Milian
(Judge, TV personality)
Marilyn Milian
7
Birthdate: May 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Astoria, New York, United States
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 13 
Mary McLeod Bethune
(American Civil Rights Activist and Founder of the 'National Council of Negro Women')
Mary McLeod Bethune
5
Birthdate: July 10, 1875
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mayesville, South Carolina, United States
Died: May 18, 1955

Mary McLeod Bethune was an American civil rights activist, educator, womanist, humanitarian, and philanthropist. She is credited with founding the National Council of Negro Women. Bethune also played a key role in the creation of the Black Cabinet while serving as an adviser to Franklin Roosevelt. In 1973, Bethune was made an indutee of the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 14 
Louise Lasser
(Actress)
Louise Lasser
8
Birthdate: April 11, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 15 
Lauren Lane
(Actress)
Lauren Lane
6
Birthdate: February 2, 1961
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 16 
Diane Baker
(Actress)
Diane Baker
4
Birthdate: February 25, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 17 
Uta Hagen
(German-American Theatre Practitioner and Actress)
Uta Hagen
4
Birthdate: June 12, 1919
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Göttingen, Germany
Died: January 14, 2004
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 18 
Essie Mae Washington-Williams
(American Educator Best Known as the Daughter of Former Governor of South Carolina, Strom Thurmond)
Essie Mae Washington-Williams
5
Birthdate: October 12, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Aiken, South Carolina, United States
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.

 19 
Lacey Schwimmer
(Ballroom Dancer)
Lacey Schwimmer
9
Birthdate: June 28, 1988
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Redlands, California, United States
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 20 
Pamela Des Barres
(Musician)
Pamela Des Barres
6
Birthdate: September 9, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reseda, California, USA
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 21 
Ruby Wax
(Actress)
Ruby Wax
5
Birthdate: April 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
 22 
T'Keyah Crystal Keymah
(Actress)
T'Keyah Crystal Keymah
4
Birthdate: October 13, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 23 
Carol S. Dweck
(Best Known for Her Work on The 'Mindset' of Psychological Traits)
Carol S. Dweck
5
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 
Maria Tallchief
(American Ballet Dancer)
Maria Tallchief
4
Birthdate: January 24, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fairfax
Died: April 11, 2013

Maria Tallchief was an American ballet dancer. Widely regarded as America's first major prima ballerina, Tallchief is credited with revolutionizing ballet. A close associate of George Balanchine, Tallchief went on to become the first star in New York City Ballet, the company co-founded by Balanchine. A National Medal of Arts recipient, Tallchief also received other prestigious awards during her career.

 25 
Amy Chua
(Lawyer)
Amy Chua
5
Birthdate: October 26, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Champaign, Illinois Champaign, Illinois, U.S.
 26 
Virginia Johnson
(Sexologist)
Virginia Johnson
5
Birthdate: February 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Springfield, Missouri, United States
Died: July 24, 2013
 27 
Amber Nash
(Actress)
Amber Nash
7
Birthdate: June 6, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 28 
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
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 29 
Marva Collins
(American educator)
Marva Collins
4
Birthdate: August 31, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Monroeville, Alabama, United States
Died: June 24, 2015
 30 
Deborah Sampson
(Military woman)
Deborah Sampson
4
Birthdate: December 17, 1760
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Plympton, Massachusetts, USA
Died: April 29, 1827
 31 
Regina S Peruggi
4
Birthdate: 1947 AD
Birthplace: United States

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.

 32 
Debra Lafave
(Teacher)
Debra Lafave
5
Birthdate: August 28, 1980
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Riverview, Florida, United States
 33 
Diana Canova
(Actress)
Diana Canova
6
Birthdate: June 1, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: West Palm Beach, Florida, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 34 
Mary Harris Jones
(Irish-born American Schoolteacher and Activist)
Mary Harris Jones
4
Birthdate: May 1, 1830
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.

 35 
Jesmyn Ward
(Novelist)
Jesmyn Ward
4
Birthdate: April 2, 1977
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: DeLisle, Mississippi, US
 36 
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
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 37 
Erin Gruwell
(Teacher)
Erin Gruwell
4
Birthdate: August 15, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: California
 38 
Fei-Fei Li
(Computer scientist)
Fei-Fei Li
5
Birthdate: 1976 AD
Birthplace: Beijing
 39 
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.

 40 
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw
(American Civil Rights Advocate and a Leading Scholar)
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw
5
Birthdate: May 5, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Canton, Ohio, United States
 41 
Karen Pence
(Wife of Former US Vice-President Mike Pence)
Karen Pence
40
Birthdate: January 1, 1957
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kansas, United States
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.
 42 
Joyce Maynard
(Novelists)
Joyce Maynard
7
Birthdate: November 5, 1953
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Exeter, New Hampshire, USA
 43 
Katharine Drexel
(American Heiress, Philanthropist, Religious Sister, and Educator)
Katharine Drexel
4
Birthdate: November 26, 1858
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 3, 1955

Roman Catholic saint Katharine Drexel, the founder of Xavier University, was born to Philadelphia banker Francis Anthony Drexel and picked up he philanthropic habits from her father. In spite of inheriting a massive fortune, she devoted her life to building schools and churches for the racially underprivileged.

 44 
Emma Willard
(American Women's Rights Activist)
Emma Willard
3
Birthdate: February 23, 1787
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Connecticut, United States
Died: April 15, 1870
 45 
Lillian Moller Gilbreth
4
Birthdate: May 24, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Died: January 2, 1972
 46 
Nnedi Okorafor
(Writer)
Nnedi Okorafor
4
Birthdate: April 8, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
 47 
Deborah Eisenberg
4
Birthdate: November 20, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Winnetka, Illinois, United States
 48 
Amy Cuddy
(Psychologist)
Amy Cuddy
4
Birthdate: June 23, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Robesonia, Pennsylvania, USA
 49 
Erica Jong
(Novelist)
Erica Jong
4
Birthdate: March 26, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.
 50 
Laura Spelman Rockefeller
5
Birthdate: September 9, 1839
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wadsworth, Ohio, United States
Died: March 12, 1915