Famous American Women's Rights Activists

Turn the pages of history and you may be shocked to know the appalled state of women in society back then. Unlike the present times, women of the yesteryears were mere objects of home, untitled, bereft of civil and constitutional rights and deprived of any freedom. Had it not been for the women’s rights activist, we would not have Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Indra Nooyi, Melinda Gates, Anna Patricia Botin or Taylor Swift at their top spots today! Talking of women’s rights activists, American women’s rights activist have played a pivotal role in the women suffragist movement. Be it 19th century civil rights leader Susan B Anthony or Amelia Bloomer, leader and strategist Alice Paul or first American woman Nobel laureate, Jane Addams, each of them committedly fought for social equality to give women an equal status in the society. It was for the efforts of these valiant women that the society turned to the issues concerning women. Basic amenities like freedom of speech, right to vote, gender discrimination, sexual and reproductive health rights, gender-based violence were unheard of concepts that women activists not just brought to the forefront but successfully conquered them to help uplift the status of women in society. Browse through this section to get details about the life and works of American women’s rights activists.

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 Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony.
8
Famous As: Women’s Rights Activist
Birthdate: February 15, 1820
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Adams, Massachusetts, United States
Died: March 13, 1906

Susan B. Anthony's vital role in the women's suffrage movement changed the course of history. She led one of the two national suffrage organizations, which later became the National American Woman Suffrage Association, with Susan as its leading force. She also played an instrumental role in publishing The Revolution, a women's rights newspaper.

 2 Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth.
4
Famous As: American women's rights activist
Birthdate: December 1, 1797
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Swartekill, New York
Died: November 26, 1883

Sojourner Truth was an American women's rights activist and abolitionist. Born into slavery, Truth escaped to freedom in 1826. She then approached the court to recover her son, subsequently becoming the first black woman to emerge successful against a white man in such a case. In 2014, she was named in Smithsonian's 100 Most Significant Americans of All Time list.

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 3 Joan Chandos Baez

Joan Chandos Baez.
6
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 9, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Staten Island, New York, United States

Singer, songwriter, musician, and activist Joan Baez has been active in the music world for over six decades. She emerged as a major musical figure in the counterculture era of the 1960s. Her music encompasses various genres like pop, folk-rock, country, and gospel music. She is involved in civil rights, human rights, and environmental activism as well.

 4 Valerie Harper

Valerie Harper.
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 22, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Suffern, New York
Valerie Harper is best remembered as Rhoda Morgenstern from The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off, Rhoda, with the role winning her four Emmys. She also hosted Nova and was seen as Valerie Hogan in the sitcom Valerie. She also earned a Tony nomination for the play Looped.

 5 Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
4
Famous As: Women’s Rights Activist
Birthdate: November 12, 1815
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Johnstown
Died: October 26, 1902

 6 Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt.
8
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.

 7 Alice Walker

Alice Walker.
4
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: February 9, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Eatonton
Author Alice Walker is best known for her National Book Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple. She is credited with coining the term womanist, to mean feminist of color. Her marriage with Melvyn Roseman Leventhal was the first official interracial marriage in the state of Mississippi.
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 8 Alice Paul

Alice Paul.
4
Famous As: Women's rights activist
Birthdate: January 11, 1885
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey, United States
Died: July 9, 1977

 9 Cybill Lynne Shepherd

Cybill Lynne Shepherd.
8
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.

 10 Torrey DeVitto

Torrey DeVitto.
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 8, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Huntington, New York
Torrey DeVitto is best known as Melissa Hastings from Pretty Little Liars, Dr. Natalie Manning in Chicago Med, and Carrie in One Tree Hill. Fans also loved her in The Vampire Diaries and Army Wives. She is a Hospice ambassador and has supported campaigns for mental-health awareness and animal rights.

 11 Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day.
3
Birthdate: November 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn
Died: November 29, 1980

 12 Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
4
Famous As: Writer, Politician, Activist, Feminist
Birthdate: November 13, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mogadishu

Somali-born Dutch-American activist, feminist, and scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the founder of an organization for the defense of women's rights, the AHA Foundation. She actively opposes forced marriage, honor violence, and child marriage. A former Muslim, she now identifies as an atheist and is a vocal critic of Islam. She is a recipient of the Lantos Human Rights Prize.

 13 Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune.
3
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: July 10, 1875
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mayesville, South Carolina, United States
Died: May 18, 1955

 14 Matt McGorry

Matt McGorry.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 12, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States

Matt McGorry is best known as John Bennett from the iconic Netflix series Orange Is the New Black and as Asher Millstone from How to Get Away with Murder. He is a feminist and a social activist, too. He was initially a fitness trainer and a bodybuilder.

 15 Mena Suvari

Mena Suvari.
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 13, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newport, Rhode Island, United States
Mena Suvari soared to fame with her SAG Award-winning role of Angela Hayes in American Beauty. Fans also loved her in the American Pie movies and the horror anthology American Horror Story. She also appeared as Edie in Six Feet Under. Mena endorses Lancôme cosmetics and uses cruelty-free products only.

 16 Jeannette Rankin

Jeannette Rankin.
3
Famous As: First Woman Elected to U.S Congress
Birthdate: June 11, 1880
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Missoula
Died: May 18, 1973

 17 Kate Bolduan

Kate Bolduan.
4
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 28, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Goshen, Indiana, United States
The youngest morning show anchor on any major TV network, Kate Bolduan is an eminent American broadcast journalist for CNN. She covered the 2016 U.S Presidntial campaign for a global audience, as the anchor of CNN international program called State of America with Kate Bolduan.

 18 Alyssa Diaz

Alyssa Diaz.
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 7, 1985
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Northridge neighborhood of Los Angeles, California

Alyssa Diaz is an American actress known for playing important roles in TV series, such as As the World Turns, The Nine Lives of Chloe King, Army Wives, and Ray Donovan. Thanks to her Colombian and Mexican origin, Diaz has been typecast into playing Hispanic characters. She is currently playing Mika Camarena in the crime drama TV series, Narcos: Mexico.

 19 Gloria Allred

Gloria Allred
4
Famous As: Attorney
Birthdate: July 3, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

 20 Margaret Fuller

Margaret Fuller.
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1810
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, U.S
Died: July 19, 1850

 21 Betty Ford

Betty Ford.
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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.

 22 William Lloyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison.
3
Famous As: Abolitionist
Birthdate: December 12, 1805
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Newburyport
Died: May 24, 1879

 23 Elizabeth Jagger

Elizabeth Jagger.
3
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: March 2, 1984
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York, New York

 24 Lina Esco

Lina Esco
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 14, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, USA

 25 Pearl Buck

Pearl Buck.
3
Famous As: American writer
Birthdate: June 26, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hillsboro
Died: March 6, 1973

 26 Fannie Lou Hamer

Fannie Lou Hamer.
3
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: October 6, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Montgomery County, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 14, 1977

 27 Cassie Scerbo

Cassie Scerbo.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 30, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Long Island, New York, United States

 28 Cynthia Germanotta

Cynthia Germanotta.
11
Famous As: Philanthropist
Birthdate: August 30, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wheeling, West Virginia, United States

Cynthia Germanotta is an American activist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. She is credited with co-founding Born This Way Foundation, for which she also serves as the president. She also plays an important role as an advocate for mental health; in 2019, she served as the World Health Organization's ambassador for mental health.

 29 Carré Otis

Carré Otis.
3
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: September 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States

 30 Mary Frann

Mary Frann.
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 27, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: September 23, 1998

 31 Terry Crews

Terry Crews.
2
Famous As: Actor, American Football Player
Birthdate: July 30, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Flint

Terrence Crews is an actor, comedian, activist and a body-builder. He’s also a former professional football player. He has starred in sitcoms like Everybody Hates Chris and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Plus, he has acted in many movies including the Expendables series. In 2017, Crews talked about a sexual assault on him by a Hollywood executive. He fiercely advocates for women's rights.

 32 Jason Ralph

Jason Ralph.
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 7, 1986
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: McKinney, Texas

Jason Ralph is an American actor best known for playing Quentin Coldwater in the popular fantasy television series, The Magicians. Jason Ralph is credited with co-founding Strangemen Theater Company. Since the company’s founding in 2010, Ralph has been serving as its artistic director, producing many award-winning plays.

 33 Mary Edwards Walker

Mary Edwards Walker.
3
Famous As: Surgeon, Feminist, Activist
Birthdate: November 26, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oswego
Died: February 21, 1919

Mary Edwards Walker, or Dr. Mary Walker, was the only female surgeon who served injured soldiers during the American Civil War. A dress reform supporter, she believed women should value comfort more than tradition when it came to clothes. She was also the first and only Medal of Honor winner.

 34 Tammy Bruce

Tammy Bruce.
4
Famous As: Radio Host
Birthdate: August 20, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Tammy Bruce is a radio host and political commentator. During the early-1990s, she led a campaign to criticize the violence in the book American Psycho, and her efforts resulted in the boycott of the novel's publisher for a year. Over the years, she has been an important contributor to Fox News and also hosts Get Tammy Bruce on Fox Nation.

 35 Lucretia Mott

Lucretia Mott.
3
Famous As: Abolitionist, Women's Rights Activist, Social Reformer
Birthdate: January 3, 1793
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nantucket, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died: November 11, 1880

 36 Mamie Till

Mamie Till
5
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: November 23, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: near Webb, Mississippi, USA
Died: January 6, 2003

 37 Cecile Richards

Cecile Richards
3
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: July 15, 1957
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Waco, Texas, U.S.

 38 Lucy Stone

Lucy Stone.
3
Famous As: Women's Rights Activist
Birthdate: August 13, 1818
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: West Brookfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died: October 19, 1893

 39 Carrie Chapman Catt

Carrie Chapman Catt.
3
Famous As: Women’s Rights Activists
Birthdate: January 9, 1859
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ripon
Died: March 9, 1947

 40 Angelina Grimke

Angelina Grimke.
3
Famous As: Abolitionist, Women's Rights Activist
Birthdate: February 20, 1805
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Died: October 26, 1879

 41 Abby Johnson

Abby Johnson
3
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: July 10, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: United States

 42 Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell.
3
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: September 23, 1863
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Memphis
Died: July 24, 1954

 43 Rebecca Latimer Felton

Rebecca Latimer Felton
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 10, 1835
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Decatur, Georgia, U.S.
Died: January 24, 1930

 44 Anna Julia Cooper

Anna Julia Cooper.
3
Famous As: Author, Educator
Birthdate: August 10, 1858
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Died: February 27, 1964

 45 Sarah Weddington

Sarah Weddington
3
Famous As: Attorney
Birthdate: February 5, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Abilene, Texas, U.S

 46 Matilda Joslyn Gage

Matilda Joslyn Gage.
3
Famous As: Abolitionist, Freethinker, Author
Birthdate: March 24, 1826
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cicero
Died: March 18, 1898

 47 Mary White Ovington

Mary White Ovington
3
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: April 11, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: July 15, 1951

 48 Frances Lear

Frances Lear
3
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: July 14, 1923
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hudson, New York, United States
Died: September 30, 1996

 49 Amelia Bloomer

Amelia Bloomer
3
Famous As: Advocate
Birthdate: May 27, 1818
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Homer, New York, United States
Died: December 30, 1894

 50 Anna Howard Shaw

Anna Howard Shaw.
3
Famous As: Leader of the women's suffrage movement in the United States.
Birthdate: February 14, 1847
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newcastle-on-Tyne, England
Died: July 2, 1919