2 Sylvia Plath(Famous for Her Books 'The Bell Jar' and 'Ariel')
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.
3 Emily Dickinson(Poet)
4 Harper Lee(Novelist)
Harper Lee was an American novelist who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic To Kill a Mockingbird. Despite publishing only two books, Lee was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature, such was her impact in the world of literature. A friend of Truman Capote, Lee has been portrayed by popular actresses in Capote's biographical films.
5 Toni Morrison(Novelist)
6 Louisa May Alcott(Writer)
7 Jamie Lee Curtis(Actress, Author)
After making her film debut in the horror film, Halloween, James Lee Curtis went on to establish herself as a scream queen, appearing in a number of horror films. Curtis is also an author, having released several children's books, including books that have made The New York Times' best-seller list. She is also a well-known philanthropist.
8 Helen Keller(Author, First Deafblind Person to Earn a B.A. Degree)
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.
9 Fran Drescher(Actress, Comedian)
Fran Drescher is an American actress and comedian. Characterized by her thick New York accent and nasal voice, Fran Drescher serves as an inspiration to many cancer patients as she successfully fought off the disease after suffering from uterine cancer. She is also an outspoken LGBT rights activist and healthcare advocate.
10 Danai Gurira(Actress)
11 Octavia Spencer(Actress)
12 Chelsea Peretti(Actress, Comedian)
13 Caroline Kennedy(Author)
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.
14 Isabella Rossellini(Actress)
Italian-American actress Isabella Rossellini has made an important contribution to the American and Italian film industry. She has also appeared on stage, including an Off-Broadway production of The Stendhal Syndrome. Also known for her involvement in conservation efforts, Rossellini serves as the director and president of the Howard Gilman Foundation, which focuses on the preservation of arts, photography, and wildlife.
15 Linda McCartney(Photographer)
16 AJ Lee(Professional Wrestler, Writer)
17 Mara Wilson(Actress)
Mara Wilson stole the hearts of many with her performance as a child actress in films like Mrs. Doubtfire, Miracle on 34th Street, and Matilda. After growing up, she decided to pursue a career as a writer. In one of her interviews, she spoke about her mental illnesses, including OCD, depression, and anxiety. She also came out as bisexual.
18 Giada De Laurentiis(Chef and Host of 'Giada at Home')
Giada De Laurentiis is an Italian-American chef, restaurateur, television personality, and writer. She won the Gracie Award under the Best Television Host category for hosting Giada at Home. The founder of a catering business called GDL Foods, Giada De Laurentiis has been an influential figure in the American culinary business over the last few years.
19 Lauren Graham(Actress)
Lauren Graham is an American actress popular for playing Lorelai Gilmore in the famous television series, Gilmore Girls. Apart from being an actress, Lauren Graham is also an author and has published a couple of books, including a memoir. Also known for her beauty, Lauren has graced the cover of magazines like Health, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Parade, and Self.
20 Shirley Jackson(Author)
21 Zoe Kazan(Actress)
22 Shonda Rhimes(Television Producer)
Shonda Rhimes is a screenwriter, author, and television producer. She is credited with creating, writing, and executive producing one of the most popular American medical drama TV series ever, Grey's Anatomy. She is also credited with creating series like Private Practice and Scandal. In 2007, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 People Who Help Shape the World.
23 Angela Davis(Political Activist)
Activist, philosopher, academic and author, Angela Davis is a founding member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). She has worked in the areas of feminism, class, race and the US prison system. She has also received criticism for supporting the erstwhile Soviet Union and has been accused of supporting political violence.
24 Laura Ingalls Wilder(Writer)
25 Leslie Jones(Comedian)
26 Maya Harris(Lawyer, Political scientist, Writer)
A lawyer, law professor, political analyst and a civil rights activist, Maya Harris’s list of achievements is huge. One of the youngest in the US to become a law school dean, Maya Harris has worked with Hillary Clinton and her own sister Kamala Harris in their respective presidential campaigns.
27 Kristen Schaal(Actress)
28 Amanda Knox(Wrongful conviction of the murder of Meredith Kercher)
Amanda Knox is an American woman who made headlines when she was convicted for the murder of Meredith Kercher in Italy. After spending almost four years in prison, Amanda was definitively acquitted after a new trial that found her not guilty. Her story inspired books and documentaries; Knox's memoir Waiting to Be Heard became popular.
29 Issa Rae(Actress)
Issa Rae is known for her award-winning YouTube series Awkward Black Girl and the HBO series Insecure. Her YouTube channel has promoted the works of Black artists. She made it to the Glamour 35 Under 35 and the Forbes 30 Under 30 lists and was also featured on TIME 100.
30 Bernadette Peters(Actress)
Bernadette Peters is an American actress, children's book author, and singer. She is known for contributing immensely to all three major acting mediums in an illustrious career spanning more than 60 years. Credited with co-founding an annual animal adopt-a-thon named Broadway Barks, Bernadette Peters was honored with the 2019 Prince Rainier III Award for her philanthropic activities.
31 Doris Roberts(Actress)
Five-time Emmy Award-winning actor Doris Roberts is best remembered as Marie Barone from the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond and as Mildred Krebs from Remington Steele. She also appeared on various talk/game shows and in films such as The Honeymoon Killers. She was a prominent animal rights activist, too.
32 Gladys Knight(Singer-Songwriter)
33 Belinda Carlisle(Singer)
Belinda Carlisle is an American singer, author, and musician. She was part of the Go-Go's where she was the lead singer; during the first half of the 1980s, the Go-Go's was one of the most successful and popular all-female bands. In 2011, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as a member of The Go-Go's.
34 Zelda Fitzgerald(Novelist, Socialite)
Zelda Fitzgerald was a painter, socialite, and novelist. Along with her husband Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda became a prominent personality of the Jazz Age. Renowned for her high spirits and beauty, she was named the first American flapper by Scott. For her work as a novelist and painter, Fitzgerald was posthumously made an inductee to the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame.
35 Amy Sedaris(Actress, Comedian)
36 Paige VanZant(Mixed Martial Artist)
Paige VanZant is an American mixed martial artist, model, and author. Although she spent over 13 years exploring dance forms like hip hop, ballet, and jazz in a dance studio owned by her parents, VanZant took up martial arts during her teenage years and went on to compete in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). A multi-talented personality, VanZant also loves hunting.
37 Isabel Allende(Writer)
38 Ree Drummond(Blogger)
Ree Drummond is an American author, blogger, food writer, television personality, and photographer. In 2010, she was named in Forbes magazine's Top 25 Web Celebrities list. Riding on the success of her blog The Pioneer Woman, which was adjudged Weblog of the Year for three consecutive years at the Weblog Awards, Drummond went on to present her own television program.
39 Busy Philipps(Actress)
40 Coretta Scott King(Civil Rights Activist, Author)
The American civil rights activist was an ideal foil for her famous husband Martin Luther King Jr. in promoting racial equality. The author and singer led the Women's Movement and fought for the rights of the LGBT community. She was also known for mobilising African-Americans during the 1960 US presidential election. She founded the King Centre, a not-for-profit organization.
41 Jenna Bush Hager(Journalist, Writer)
42 MacKenzie Scott(Novelist, Ex-Wife of Jeff Bezos)
43 Susan Sontag(Writer and Filmmaker, Best Known for her Essay 'Notes on 'Camp')
44 Rachel Carson(Marine biologist)
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.
45 Ayn Rand(Writer)
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.
46 Michelle McNamara(Writer)
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.
47 Barbara Corcoran(Business Women)
Barbara Corcoran is an American businesswoman, television personality, author, and speaker. She is credited with founding a New York City-based real estate brokerage called The Corcoran Group, which she sold for $66 million in 2001. She is best known for appearing in the popular business reality TV series, Shark Tank, where she was one of the original Shark investors.
48 Nora Ephron(Screenwriter, Producer, Director)
Nora Ephron was an American writer, filmmaker, and journalist. She is known for writing films like Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally... The Nora Ephron Prize was created by the Tribeca Film Festival in her memory. Her life and work inspired the 2016 documentary film Everything Is Copy, which was directed by her son Jacob Bernstein.