American Female Intellectuals & Academics

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 Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 2, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: March 6, 1982

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American philosopher and writer. Apart from publishing two best-selling novels, Ayn Rand is credited with developing a philosophical system called Objectivism. Over the years, Ayn Rand has been a major influence among American conservatives and libertarians. Some of the famous personalities influenced by her include Amber Heard, Vince Vaughn, Jimmy Wales, Ayelet Shaked, and Mary Ruwart.

 2 Dian Fossey

Dian Fossey.
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Famous As: Zoologist, Conservationist
Birthdate: January 16, 1932
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: December 26, 1985
Zoologist, primatologist, and conservationist Dian Fossey conducted research on mountain gorillas in Rwanda from 1966 until she was murdered in 1985. She was part of the Trimates assigned to study apes by paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey. She wrote Gorillas in the Mist, which was later turned into a film.
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 3 Samantha Power

Samantha Power.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 21, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and academic Samantha Power has previously served as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. She was a war correspondent before she became a professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She worked on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and infamously called Hillary Clinton "a monster.”

 4 Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead.
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Famous As: Cultural Anthropologist
Birthdate: December 16, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Died: November 15, 1978

 5 Helena Blavatsky

Helena Blavatsky.
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: August 12, 1831
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Yekaterinoslav, Russian Empire (now Ukraine)
Died: May 8, 1891

Russian philosopher Helena Blavatsky, or Madame Blavatsky, was one of the co-founders of the Theosophical Society. She popularized the slogan “There is no religion higher than truth.” She was inspired by the Arya Samaj and later converted to Buddhism. She also wrote books such as The Secret Doctrine.

 6 Sarah Vowell

Sarah Vowell
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: December 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA

 7 Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin
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Famous As: Journalist, Historian
Birthdate: January 4, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn
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 8 N. K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.

N. K. Jemisin became the first writer to win the Hugo Best Novel award thrice consecutively and is best known for her Inheritance trilogy and her Broken Earth series. The African-American author is also a trained psychologist and has worked as a counsellor in several universities.

 9 Robin DiAngelo

Robin DiAngelo
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Famous As: Academic
Birthdate: September 8, 1956
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Jose, California,

 10 Christina Hoff Sommers

Christina Hoff Sommers.
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Famous As: Author, Philosopher
Birthdate: September 28, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Petaluma, California, U.S.

 11 Virginia Dare

Virginia Dare
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Famous As: Colonist
Birthdate: August 18, 1587
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Roanoke Island, North Carolina, United States

 12 Esther Duflo

Esther Duflo.
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Famous As: American-French Economist
Birthdate: October 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France

Esther Duflo is a French–American economist. She is credited with co-founding the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, a global research center that works towards reducing poverty worldwide. In 2019, she shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Michael Kremer and Abhijit Banerjee for their efforts to reduce poverty.

 13 Martha Nussbaum

Martha Nussbaum
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Famous As: Philosopher, Writer, University teacher
Birthdate: May 6, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City

 14 Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 3, 1860
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut
Died: August 17, 1935

 15 Carol S. Dweck

Carol S. Dweck.
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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.

 16 Judy Smith

Judy Smith
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Famous As: Crisis manager
Birthdate: October 27, 1958
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

 17 Heather Cox Richardson

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

 18 Pema Chodron

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

 19 Anne Applebaum

Anne Applebaum
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 25, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

 20 Elinor Ostrom

Elinor Ostrom
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Famous As: Economist, Political scientist, University teacher
Birthdate: August 7, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles
Died: June 12, 2012

 21 Christine Blasey Ford

Christine Blasey Ford
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Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: November 28, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: United States
Palo Alto University professor and Stanford researcher Christine Blasey Ford made headlines when, in 2018, she accused U.S. Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her back in 1982. Apart from teaching psychology, she has also been a biostatistician. She was also named to Time 100 in 2019.

 22 Drew Gilpin Faust

Drew Gilpin Faust
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Famous As: Historian, University teacher
Birthdate: September 18, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City

 23 Amy Cuddy

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

 24 Ann Dunham

Ann Dunham.
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Famous As: Barack Obama's Mother
Birthdate: November 29, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas
Died: November 7, 1995
Ann Dunham was the mother of former U.S. President Barack Obama. She was an economic anthropologist and worked for the betterment of rural Indonesian women. She had met Barack Obama Sr. while studying at the University of Hawaii. She had worked with USAID, the Ford Foundation, and Bank Rakyat Indonesia.

 25 Janet Yellen

Janet Yellen
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: August 13, 1946
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Economist Janet Yellen has had an illustrious career as an academic and researcher, and has taught at Harvard University and other reputed institutes. After chairing the Federal Reserve for 4 years, she is now the United States Secretary of the Treasury. She is married to Nobel-winning economist George Akerlof.

 26 Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston.
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Famous As: Folklorist, Anthropologist
Birthdate: January 7, 1891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Notasulga
Died: January 28, 1960

Zora Neale Hurston was an author, anthropologist, and filmmaker. As an African American woman, she often depicted racial issues in the films she made. Her works also reflected her struggles as a black woman. In her early career, she conducted anthropological and ethnographic research and focused more on writing and film-making in her later years.

 27 Elizabeth Loftus

Elizabeth Loftus
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Famous As: Psychologist, Statistician, University teacher
Birthdate: October 16, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles

 28 Judith Butler

Judith Butler.
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: February 24, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

 29 Camille Paglia

Camille Paglia.
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Famous As: Cultural critic
Birthdate: April 2, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Endicott

 30 Alva Belmont

Alva Belmont
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Famous As: socialite
Birthdate: January 17, 1853
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mobile, Alabama, United States
Died: January 26, 1933

 31 Ruth Benedict

Ruth Benedict
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Famous As: Anthropologist, Folklorist, University teacher, Poet, Sociologist, Biographer
Birthdate: June 5, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: September 17, 1948

 32 Laura Schlessinger

Laura Schlessinger
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Famous As: Radio personality, Writer, Social worker, Psychologist, Children's writer, Journalist
Birthdate: January 16, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn

 33 Lillian Moller Gilbreth

Lillian Moller Gilbreth.
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Famous As: Mother of Modern Management
Birthdate: May 24, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oakland
Died: January 2, 1972

 34 Barbara Tuchman

Barbara Tuchman
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: January 30, 1912
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York city, New York
Died: February 6, 1989

 35 Grace Lee Boggs

Grace Lee Boggs
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Famous As: Writer, Civil rights advocate, Non-fiction writer
Birthdate: June 27, 1915
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Providence
Died: October 5, 2015

 36 Carol Gilligan

Carol Gilligan
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Famous As: Psychologist, Philosopher, Non-fiction writer, Sociologist, Feminist
Birthdate: November 28, 1936
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City

 37 Mariana Mazzucato

Mariana Mazzucato
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Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: June 16, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Award-winning economist and University College London professor Mariana Mazzucato was born to a physicist father in Italy. She has also held academic posts at institutes such as the University of Sussex. She is best known for her research on economic innovation and has penned books such as The Entrepreneurial State.

 38 Irene Rosenfeld

Irene Rosenfeld
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Famous As: Business Woman
Birthdate: May 3, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York

 39 Mary Parker Follett

Mary Parker Follett
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Famous As: Social Woker
Birthdate: September 3, 1868
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Quincy, Massachusetts, United States
Died: December 18, 1933

 40 Deirdre McCloskey

Deirdre McCloskey
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Famous As: Economist, Professor, Teacher
Birthdate: September 11, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ann Arbor

 41 Marsha M. Linehan

Marsha M. Linehan
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Famous As: Psychologist, University teacher, Writer
Birthdate: May 5, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tulsa

 42 Elizebeth Smith Friedman

Elizebeth Smith Friedman
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: August 26, 1892
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Huntington, Indiana, United States
Died: October 31, 1980

 43 Marija Gimbutas

Marija Gimbutas
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Famous As: Archaeologist
Birthdate: January 23, 1921
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vilnius
Died: February 2, 1994

 44 Charlotte Laws

Charlotte Laws
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: May 11, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

 45 Elaine Pagels

Elaine Pagels
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: February 13, 1943
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Palo Alto, California, United States

 46 Gayle Rubin

Gayle Rubin
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Famous As: Anthropologist, university teacher, essayist, LGBT rights activist
Birthdate: 1949 AD

 47 Tara Brach

Tara Brach
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Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: May 17, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus

 48 Dee Dee Myers

Dee Dee Myers
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Famous As: Political scientist
Birthdate: September 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: North Kingstown, Rhode Island North Kingstown, Rhode Island, U.S.

 49 Antonia Novello

Antonia Novello
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Famous As: Former Surgeon General
Birthdate: August 23, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fajardo, Puerto Rico

Antonia Novello became the first female and the first person of Hispanic origin to become the U.S. surgeon general. Initially a pediatric nephrologist, she later switched to Public Health Service, after realizing she was too emotional to be a pediatrician. The Puerto Rican physician was also a UNICEF representative.

 50 Mary Daly

Mary Daly
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Famous As: Theologian, Writer, Philosopher, University teacher, Feminist
Birthdate: October 16, 1928
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Schenectady
Died: January 3, 2010