American Female Non-fiction Writers

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 Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath
4
Famous As: Poet, Novelist
Birthdate: October 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: February 11, 1963

Sylvia Plath was an American short-story writer, novelist, and poet. Plath is credited with popularizing confessional poetry and won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Sylvia Plath achieved popularity and critical acclaim despite suffering from clinical depression for the most part of her adult life. Her story inspired the 2003 film Sylvia in which she was portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow.

 2 Caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy
4
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: November 27, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cornell Medical Center Hospital, New York City, New York, U.S.

Caroline Kennedy is an American author, diplomat, and attorney. The only surviving child of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Caroline served as the US Ambassador to Japan between 2013 and 2017. A prolific author who writes about civil liberties, Caroline Kennedy has also served as a spokesperson for the Kennedy family's legacy.

 3 Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 17, 1927
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: North, South Carolina, United States
Died: December 25, 2008

Eartha Kitt was an American actress, comedian, dancer, and singer-songwriter. Renowned for her distinctive singing style, Kitt recorded several chartbusting songs during the 1950s. Also a well-known activist, Eartha Kitt established a non-profit organization called the Kittsville Youth Foundation, which helped underprivileged youths in Los Angeles. She was also an ardent advocate for same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

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 4 Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb
4
Famous As: Journalist, Author, TV Anchor
Birthdate: August 9, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Norman, Oklahoma
Egyptian-American TV journalist Hoda Kotb is best known as the co-host of the shows NBC Morning Show, Dateline NBC, Today. Named to Time 100, she has also authored several books, including a bestselling autobiography. A breast cancer survivor, she now also works to raise awareness about the disease.

 5 Mackenzie Phillips

Mackenzie Phillips
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 10, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Alexandria, Virginia
Mackenzie Phillips made her acting debut at 12, with American Graffiti. Fans loved her in the series One Day at a Time and So Weird. She has struggled with drug issues and has appeared on Celebrity Rehab. She also confessed to being raped by her father, in her memoir.

 6 Michelle McNamara

Michelle McNamara
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 14, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States
Died: April 21, 2016

True-crime writer, Michelle McNamara, is remembered for coining the name "Golden State Killer" for the serial killer later identified as Joseph James DeAngelo. Sadly, the author died before his identification and arrest. Fascinated by true crime from a young age, she launched her website TrueCrimeDiary in 2006 and dedicated her life to researching and writing about true crime.

 7 Anita Hill

Anita Hill
4
Famous As: Attorney
Birthdate: July 30, 1956
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Morns, Oklahoma, USA
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 8 Sela Ward

Sela Ward
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 11, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Meridian, Mississippi

Sela Ann Ward is best known for her Emmy-winning role of Teddy Reed in Sisters. She won another Emmy and a Golden Globe for playing Lily Manning in Once and Again. Fans also loved her in the series House and CSI: NY, and the movie The Day After Tomorrow.

 9 Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 16, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: December 28, 2004
Susan Sontag is best known for her essay anthologies such as Against Interpretation and her novels such as In America. She wrote about diverse issues such as human rights, photography, AIDS, and leftist beliefs, and also visited war-torn areas. The National Book Award-winning author was also openly bisexual. 

 10 Cybill Lynne Shepherd

Cybill Lynne Shepherd
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Cybill Shepherd is best known for her roles in films such as The Heartbreak Kid, Taxi Driver, and Alice. Fans also loved her for her Golden Globe-winning portrayals of Madelyn 'Maddie' Hayes in the series Moonlighting and Cybill Sheridan in the sitcom Cybill. She is a follower of goddess-worshipping Paganism.

 11 Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson
3
Famous As: Marine biologist
Birthdate: May 27, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Springdale
Died: April 14, 1964

Rachel Carson was a conservationist, marine biologist, and author. She is credited with authoring an influential book titled Silent Spring, which played a significant role in advancing the global environmental movement. Carson is also remembered for her book, The Sea Around Us, which earned her a U.S. National Book Award. She was posthumously honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 12 Suzanne Somers

Suzanne Somers
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 16, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Bruno, California, United States

 13 Jill Ireland

Jill Ireland
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 24, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London
Died: May 18, 1990

Jill Ireland was an English singer and actress. She is best known for working with her husband Charles Bronson in 15 films. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Ireland started writing books chronicling her fight with cancer. She also started working with the American Cancer Society. Her fight with cancer inspired the movie Reason for Living: The Jill Ireland Story.

 14 Taya Kyle

Taya Kyle
4
Famous As: Activist, Author
Birthdate: September 4, 1974
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon

Taya Kyle is an American political commentator and author. Since the death of her husband US Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, Taya Kyle has been working towards the welfare of military veterans' family. In 2014, she established the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation as part of her work. In the 2014 movie American Sniper, Taya Kyle was played by Sienna Miller.

 15 Assata Shakur

Assata Shakur
4
Famous As: Murder Convict
Birthdate: July 16, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Jamaica, New York, United States

Assata Shakur is a former member of the revolutionary organization 'Black Liberation Army'. Sentenced to life for murder, Shakur escaped from the 'Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women' and was eventually granted political asylum in Cuba. She is the first woman to be added to FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list. Her life inspired the documentary film Eyes of the Rainbow.

 16 Betty Friedan

Betty Friedan
3
Famous As: Feminist, Writer
Birthdate: February 4, 1921
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: eoria, Illinois, United States
Died: February 4, 2004

 17 Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin
4
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: October 21, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States
Died: January 22, 2018

Ursula K. Le Guin was an American author. In a career spanning almost six decades, Ursula wrote about political and social themes like race and sexuality. Throughout her career, Ursula had a major influence on speculative fiction. Her book A Wizard of Earthsea is credited with inspiring ideas like 'wizard school', which was later popularized in the Harry Potter series.

 18 Delta Burke

Delta Burke
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 30, 1956
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Orlando, Florida

Delta Burke is an American actress, author, and producer. She is best known for playing Suzanne Sugarbaker in the popular TV series Designing Women. Despite struggling with issues, such as eating disorders, depression, and overweight, Delta Burke has managed to establish a successful acting career and serves as an inspiration to people suffering from similar problems.

 19 Christina Crawford

Christina Crawford
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Famous As: Author, Actress
Birthdate: June 11, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Actor and author Christina Crawford is best known for her memoir Mommie Dearest, which described her relationship with her adoptive mother, movie star Joan Crawford, highlighting the abuse she had been subjected to. It was later adapted into a film. Christina has also appeared in stage productions, films, and series.

 20 Kayden Kross

Kayden Kross
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 15, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, USA

 21 Kennedy Montgomery

Kennedy Montgomery
4
Famous As: Commentator
Birthdate: September 8, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Political commentator and host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, began her career as MTV VJ “Kennedy” on the alternative rock shows 120 Minutes and Alternative Nation. She has authored two books and has also hosted Fox network shows such as Kennedy and Outnumbered. She has also been a panelist on The Five.

 22 Glennon Doyle Melton

Glennon Doyle Melton
4
Famous As: Author, Activist, Public Speaker
Birthdate: March 20, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Burke, Virginia

The author of New York Times bestsellers such as Untamed and Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton was once described as the patron saint of female empowerment by People magazine. She is also an avid philanthropist, who heads the all-woman non-profit Together Rising, which caters to women and children.

 23 Andrea Tantaros

Andrea Tantaros
4
Famous As: Political Analyst
Birthdate: December 30, 1978
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States

 24 Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin
4
Famous As: Blogger
Birthdate: October 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Michelle Malkin is an American blogger, author, political commentator, and businesswoman. Her weekly syndicated column gets featured in several websites and newspapers. Apart from writing four books and contributing to TV channels, such as Fox News, Michelle Malkin is also credited with founding the conservative websites Hot Air and Twitchy.

 25 Andrea Martin

Andrea Martin
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 15, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Portland, Maine, USA

American-Canadian actor Andrea Martin is best known for her roles in movies such as My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She has also won Tony and Drama Desk awards for her performances in plays such as My Favorite Year and Pippin. Her one-woman show Nude, Nude, Totally Nude was a hit.

 26 Patti Davis

Patti Davis
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 21, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

 27 Mariette Hartley

Mariette Hartley
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York

Mariette Hartley is an American actress who won the Primetime Emmy Award for her portrayal of Dr. Carolyn Fields in the popular television series, The Incredible Hulk. She also has several Primetime Emmy Award nominations under her belt. An advocate of suicide prevention and medications for bipolar disorder, Mariette Hartley works towards increasing awareness of the disorder.

 28 Dorothy Bush Koch

Dorothy Bush Koch
4
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: August 18, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Harris County, Texas

The author of the New York Times bestseller My Father, My President, Dorothy Bush Koch is the sixth child of former U.S. president George H.W. Bush, and the sister of George W. Bush. A Eucharistic minister, she is also the founder of BB&R Wellness Consulting, centered on health and well-being.

 29 Julie Nixon Eisenhower

Julie Nixon Eisenhower
4
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: July 5, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Washington, DC
Youngest daughter of the 37th President of United States, Richard Nixon, Julie Nixon Eisenhower is an author who wrote Pat Nixon: The Untold Story, which became a New York Times best-seller. She is also one of the board of directors of the Richard Nixon Foundation. 

 30 Taylor Armstrong

Taylor Armstrong
4
Famous As: Reality TV Personalities
Birthdate: May 31, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Independence Township, Kansas, United States

 31 Betty Ford

Betty Ford
4
Famous As: Former First Lady of the United States
Birthdate: April 8, 1918
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: July 8, 2011

Betty Ford served as the First Lady of the US from 1974 to 1977. One of the most popular First Ladies in history, Ford was a passionate supporter of abortion rights and worked towards raising breast cancer awareness. She commented on topics like sex, drugs, abortion, and equal pay. In 1991, she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 32 Margaret Hoover

Margaret Hoover
3
Famous As: Media Personality, Author, Activist
Birthdate: December 11, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Colorado

Margaret Hoover, the great-granddaughter of former American president Herbert Hoover, is best known as the host of the PBS show Firing Line. The conservative political commentator has also written a book. She supports LGBT rights and is on the boards of several institutions, such as the Hoover Institution.

 33 Joan Didion

Joan Didion
4
Famous As: Screenwriter, Novelist, Journalist, Writer, Essayist
Birthdate: December 5, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States

 34 Amelia Warren Tyagi

Amelia Warren Tyagi
3
Famous As: Elizabeth Warren's Daughter
Birthdate: September 2, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Jersey

 35 Betty DeGeneres

Betty DeGeneres
3
Famous As: Speech Therapist
Birthdate: May 20, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

 36 Paula Poundstone

Paula Poundstone
3
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: December 29, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Huntsville, Alabama

 37 Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich
3
Famous As: Writer & Activist
Birthdate: August 26, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Butte, Montana, United States

 38 Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter
10
Famous As: Media pundit
Birthdate: December 8, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Ann Coulter is a political commentator and has written countless bestselling books, including High Crimes and Misdemeanors, which enumerated the reasons why Bill Clinton should have been impeached. She assisted Paula Jones’s attorneys for free. Her columns are featured on various conservative websites. She opposes same-sex marriage and hate-crime laws.

 39 Amy Fisher

Amy Fisher
6
Famous As: Criminal
Birthdate: August 21, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Long Island, New York, United States

Amy Fisher, who came to be known as The Long Island Lolita, made headlines when in 1992, she shot and injured Mary Jo Buttafuoco, the wife of her lover, Joey Buttafuoco. After serving her sentence, she released sex tapes and books such as If I Knew Then.

 40 Amy Chua

Amy Chua
3
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: October 26, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Champaign, Illinois Champaign, Illinois, U.S.

 41 Ann Rule

Ann Rule
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 22, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lowell, Michigan, USA
Died: July 26, 2015

True crime author Ann Rule had initially been a policewoman and was also well-versed in criminology and psychology. She first gained attention with her book The Stranger Beside Me, which relates her experiences of working with Ted Bundy, a volunteer at a suicide hotline, who later murdered several women.

 42 Isabel Wilkerson

Isabel Wilkerson
3
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: 1961 AD
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

 43 Patricia Cornwell

Patricia Cornwell
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 9, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, USA

 44 Laura Hillenbrand

Laura Hillenbrand
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: May 15, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fairfax, Virginia, United States

 45 Virginia Johnson

Virginia Johnson
3
Famous As: Sexologist
Birthdate: February 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Springfield, Missouri, United States
Died: July 24, 2013

 46 Jill Lepore

Jill Lepore
3
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: August 27, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: West Boylston, Massachusetts, United States

Jill Lepore is an American journalist and historian who is currently teaching American History at Harvard University. She has also been an important contributor to The New Yorker, writing about American history, literature, law, and politics since 2005. Over the years her work has earned her prestigious awards, such as the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award and American History Book Prize.

 47 Carol S. Dweck

Carol S. Dweck
3
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.

 48 Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Lisa Brennan-Jobs
0
Famous As: Daughter of Steve Jobs
Birthdate: May 17, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oregon, United States
Lisa Brennan-Jobs, daughter of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and painter Chrisann Brennan, is a journalist who has written for Vogue and The Southwest Review. Jobs initially denied having fathered her, but a DNA test and a legal case proved the paternity. The Apple Lisa computer was named after her.

 49 Daphne Oz

Daphne Oz
0
Famous As: Writer, Television host
Birthdate: February 17, 1986
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 50 Hunter Tylo

Hunter Tylo
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 3, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, United States