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.

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 1 Helen Keller

Helen Keller
7
Famous As: Author
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 Anita Hill

Anita Hill
19
Famous As: Attorney
Birthdate: July 30, 1956
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Morns, Oklahoma, USA

 3 Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger
4
Famous As: Activist
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.

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 4 Linda Lee Cadwell

Linda Lee Cadwell
4
Famous As: Teacher & Bruce Lee's Widow
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.

 5 Christa McAuliffe

Christa McAuliffe
4
Famous As: Astronaut, Teacher
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.

 6 Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 22, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

Considered a progressive, American politician Elizabeth Warren has been an US senator from Massachusetts since 2013. She is known as a supporter of worker representation on board of corporations, harsher punishment for white-collar crimes and a higher minimum wage, among other things. She ran in the Democratic Party presidential primaries for the 2020 elections, but later pulled out of the race.

 7 Anne Sullivan

Anne Sullivan
7
Famous As: American Teacher, Instructor
Birthdate: April 14, 1866
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Feeding Hills
Died: October 20, 1936
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 8 Mary Kay Letourneau

Mary Kay Letourneau
5
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: January 30, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tustin, California, United States
Died: July 6, 2020

American teacher Mary Kay Letourneau was pleaded guilty in 1997 to two counts of felony second-degree rape of a child. She began a sexual relationship with her sixth-grade student Vili Fualaau and had two children with him. Letourneau served two prison sentences as their relationship was forbidden by law. The two got married in 2005 and got separated in 2019.

 9 Katie Porter

Katie Porter
6
Famous As: Politician
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.

 10 Betty Shabazz

Betty Shabazz
6
Famous As: Educator
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.

 11 Sonya Curry

Sonya Curry
5
Famous As: Dell Curry's Wife
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.

 12 Brene Brown

Brene Brown
6
Famous As: Researcher
Birthdate: November 18, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, U.S.

Apart from being a University of Houston research professor, Brene Brown has also been a successful author of New York Times bestsellers such as Braving the Wilderness, and a podcast host. She also has a lecture featured on Netflix, while her Ted Talk is one of the world’s top-five most-viewed. 

 13 Maya Soetoro-Ng

Maya Soetoro-Ng
5
Famous As: Educator, Maternal half-sister to Barack Obama
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.

 14 Jane Elliott

Jane Elliott
6
Famous As: Schoolteacher
Birthdate: May 27, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Riceville, Mitchell County, Iowa, USA

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.  

 15 Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle
6
Famous As: Marine biologist
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.

 16 Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay
6
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 15, 1974
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.

Roxane Gay is an American writer, editor, professor, and social commentator. She is credited with founding an Illinois-based small press called Tiny Hardcore Press as well as the now-defunct Gay Magazine, which was founded in association with Medium. Roxane Gay is the recipient of a couple of Lambda Literary Awards and an Eisner Award for Best Limited Series.

 17 Pamela Des Barres

Pamela Des Barres
5
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: September 9, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reseda, California, USA

 18 Erin Murphy

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

 19 Louise Lasser

Louise Lasser
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 11, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 20 Amy Chua

Amy Chua
4
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: October 26, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Champaign, Illinois Champaign, Illinois, U.S.

 21 Lauren Lane

Lauren Lane
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 2, 1961
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

 22 Ruby Wax

Ruby Wax
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States

 23 Zitkala-Sa

Zitkala-Sa
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 22, 1876
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Yankton Reservation, South Dakota, United States
Died: January 26, 1938

 24 Annie Sprinkle

Annie Sprinkle
4
Famous As: Sexologist
Birthdate: July 23, 1954
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Annie Sprinkle is an American sexologist who supports sex work and healthcare. Sprinkle, who identifies herself as ecosexual, works as a feminist stripper, sex educator, pornographic actress, and sex-positive feminist. She is credited with popularizing lesbian pornography and the post-porn movement.

 25 Carol S. Dweck

Carol S. Dweck
4
Famous As: Physiologists
Birthdate: October 17, 1946
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.

 26 Mamie Till

Mamie Till
4
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: November 23, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: near Webb, Mississippi, USA
Died: January 6, 2003

 27 Essie Mae Washington-Williams

Essie Mae Washington-Williams
4
Famous As: Teacher
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.

 28 Amber Nash

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

 29 Laura Spelman Rockefeller

Laura Spelman Rockefeller
4
Famous As: Philanthropist
Birthdate: September 9, 1839
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wadsworth, Ohio, United States
Died: March 12, 1915

 30 Virginia Johnson

Virginia Johnson
4
Famous As: Sexologist
Birthdate: February 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Springfield, Missouri, United States
Died: July 24, 2013

 31 Regina S Peruggi

Regina S Peruggi
4
Famous As: Educator
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.

 32 T'Keyah Crystal Keymah

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

 33 Marva Collins

Marva Collins
3
Famous As: American educator
Birthdate: August 31, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Monroeville, Alabama, United States
Died: June 24, 2015

 34 Liz Murray

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

 35 Heather Cox Richardson

Heather Cox Richardson
4
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: 1962 AD
Birthplace: Maine, U.S.

Heather Cox Richardson is an American professor and historian who is currently teaching history at Boston College. She has also taught history at prestigious institutions like the University of Massachusetts Amherst and MIT. Richardson has written many books on politics and history and is credited with founding werehistory.org, which houses short articles.

 36 Deborah Sampson

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

 37 Uta Hagen

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

 38 Emma Willard

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

 39 Kami Cotler

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

 40 Pema Chodron

Pema Chodron
6
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 14, 1936
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York (state) 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. 

 41 Lacey Schwimmer

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

 42 Mary Harris Jones

Mary Harris Jones
4
Famous As: Labor and Community Organizer, Schoolteacher
Birthdate: May 1, 1837
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cork, Ireland
Died: November 30, 1930

 43 Judy Chu

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

 44 Joyce Maynard

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

 45 Rachel Dolezal

Rachel Dolezal
15
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: November 12, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lincoln County, Montana, U.S

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.

 46 Karen Pence

Karen Pence
40
Famous As: Educator
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.

 47 Michelle Alexander

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

 48 Diana Canova

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

 49 St. Katharine Drexel

St. Katharine Drexel
4
Famous As: Philanthropist
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.

 50 Amy Cuddy

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