American Female Inventors & Discoverers

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 Inventors & Discoverers

 1 
Grace Hopper
(Computer Scientist)

Grace Hopper
7
Birthdate: December 9, 1906
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: January 1, 1992
Computer scientist and U.S. Navy rear admiral Grace Hopper was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computing system. She pioneered the machine-independent programming language technique, and the FLOW-MATIC language used by her was later used to create COBOL. She received a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 2 
Joy Mangano
(Inventor, Entrepreneur)

Joy Mangano
5
Birthdate: February 1, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: East Meadow, New York, United States

Before she turned her peculiar inventions into a billion-dollar business empire, Joy Mangano had worked as an airline assistant and a waitress. Her best-known invention has been the Miracle Mop, a self-wringing mop made of plastic. She has also penned a memoir and has inspired the 2015 film Joy.

 3 
Hedy Lamarr
(Actress Best Known for Her Films 'Algiers', 'Lady of the Tropics' & 'Boom Town')

Hedy Lamarr
7
Birthdate: November 9, 1914
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: January 19, 2000

Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-American actress whose early career was defined by her performance in the controversial Czech erotic film Ecstasy. Apart from gaining popularity as a beautiful Hollywood actress, Hedy Lamarr became known as an inventor after co-inventing frequency-hopping spread spectrum. Her career has inspired several works of art. She was also the inspiration behind the iconic character Catwoman.

 4 
Virginia Apgar
(Physician and Anesthesiologist)

Virginia Apgar
4
Birthdate: June 7, 1909
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Westfield, New Jersey, United States
Died: August 7, 1974

 5 
Lori Greiner
(Television personality)

Lori Greiner
22
Birthdate: December 9, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

 6 
Ruth Handler
(Businesswoman)

Ruth Handler
3
Birthdate: November 4, 1916
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Died: April 27, 2002

 7 
Ruth Graves Wakefield
(Chef, Patent inventor, Teacher, Businessperson, Food critic, Dietitian)

Ruth Graves Wakefield
3
Birthdate: June 17, 1903
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Walpole
Died: January 10, 1977
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 8 

Stephanie Kwolek
3
Birthdate: July 31, 1923
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New Kensington, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: June 18, 2014

Stephanie Kwolek was an American chemist remembered for her invention of Kevlar. She worked at the DuPont Company for over four decades and was awarded the company's Lavoisier Medal for her discovery. In 1995, she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, becoming the fourth woman to be inducted. She also won other awards including the Perkin Medal.

 9 
Bette Nesmith Graham
(Inventor, Entrepreneur)

Bette Nesmith Graham
3
Birthdate: March 23, 1924
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dallas
Died: May 12, 1980

 10 
Patricia Bath
(Former Inventor known for Invention of Laserphaco Probe)

Patricia Bath
3
Birthdate: November 4, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: April 30, 2019

Ophthalmologist Patricia Bath is remembered for her pathbreaking invention of the Laserphaco Probe, which made laser cataract surgery possible. The first Black female surgeon at the UCLA Medical Center and the first female faculty staff of the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute, she dedicated her life to curing blindness.

 11 
Sarah E. Goode
(Inventor)

Sarah E. Goode
3
Birthdate: 1855 AD
Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio, United States
Died: April 8, 1905

 12 
Mary Anderson
(inventor)

Mary Anderson
3
Birthdate: February 19, 1866
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Greene County
Died: June 27, 1953

Mary Anderson was a real estate developer, rancher, and inventor. She is best known for inventing the windshield wiper blade. She received her first patent for an automatic car window cleaning device controlled from inside the car in 1903. She was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2011, more than half a century after her death.  

 13 
Gertrude B. Elion
(Biochemist, Pharmacologist)

Gertrude B. Elion
3
Birthdate: January 23, 1918
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: February 21, 1999

The daughter of Jewish immigrants in New York, Gertrude B. Elion excelled in chemistry at Hunter College, where she studied for free, but was initially unable to find a job due to gender bias. The renowned biochemist and pharmacologist later won a Nobel and became a pioneer in medical research.

 14 
Caresse Crosby
(Publisher, Writer, Socialite, Poet, Memoirist, Journalist)

Caresse Crosby
3
Birthdate: April 20, 1891
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Died: January 26, 1970

 15 
Radia Perlman
(Computer Network Engineer)

Radia Perlman
3
Birthdate: December 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States

 16 
Margaret E. Knight
(Inventor, notably of a machine to produce flat-bottomed paper bags)

Margaret E. Knight
3
Birthdate: February 14, 1838
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: York, Maine, United States
Died: October 12, 1914

 17 

Josephine Cochrane
5
Birthdate: March 8, 1839
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ashtabula County
Died: August 3, 1913

 18 
Sarah Boone
(Inventor)

Sarah Boone
3
Birthdate: March 8, 1839, 1832
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Craven County, North Carolina
Died: 1904 AD

 19 
Edith Clarke
(Electrical Engineer)

Edith Clarke
2
Birthdate: February 10, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Howard County
Died: October 29, 1959

 20 
Lyda D. Newman
(Inventor and involved activist for women's suffrage)

Lyda D. Newman
2
Birthdate: 1885 AD
Birthplace: Ohio, United States

 21 

Katharine Burr Blodgett
2
Birthdate: January 10, 1898
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Schenectady
Died: October 12, 1979

 22 
Beulah Louise Henry
(Lady Edison)

Beulah Louise Henry
1
Birthdate: February 11, 1887
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Raleigh
Died: 1973 AD

 23 
Mary Walton
(Inventor)

Mary Walton
2
Birthdate: 1827 AD
Birthplace: New York City, United States of America

 24 
Olive Dennis
(Civil Engineer)

Olive Dennis
1
Birthdate: November 20, 1885
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: United States of America
Died: November 5, 1957

Olive Dennis was an American engineer whose innovations played a huge role in making railways what it is today. The first female member to become a part of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA), Olive Dennis is credited with introducing comforts, such as stain-resistant upholstery, ceiling lights, and air-conditioned compartments in passenger cars.  

 25 
Carleen Hutchins
(Innovator)

Carleen Hutchins
1
Birthdate: May 24, 1911
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 7, 2009

 26 
Cynthia May Alden
(Journalist)

Cynthia May Alden
0
Birthdate: May 31, 1862
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Afton, Iowa, United States
Died: January 8, 1931