Women Educators

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 1 
Savitribai Phule
(Social Reformer, Poet)
Savitribai Phule
18
Birthdate: January 3, 1831
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Naigaon, British India (now in Satara district, Maharashtra)
Died: March 10, 1887

Savitribai Phule was a revolutionary social reformer who dedicated her life to educate girls and bring about gender equality in the face of resistance from the conservative Indian society. Phule, who was illiterate till her marriage, went on to become a teacher, a feat considered first by an Indian woman. With her husband, she established schools for girls in Maharashtra.

 2 
Anne Sullivan
(Educator)
Anne Sullivan
22
Birthdate: April 14, 1866
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Agawam, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 20, 1936
 3 
Maria Montessori
(Italian Educator and Founder of the 'Montessori Method of Education')
Maria Montessori
20
Birthdate: August 1, 1870
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chiaravalle, Italy
Died: April 30, 1952

Maria Montessori was an Italian educator and physician best known for developing the Montessori method of education, a student-friendly method, which is being used in several public and private schools around the world. In 2020, she was nominated by Time magazine as one of their Top 100 Women of the year.

 4 
Christa McAuliffe
(American Astronaut Who was Killed on the Space Shuttle 'Challenger' on Mission STS-51-L)
Christa McAuliffe
11
Birthdate: September 2, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: January 28, 1986

Christa McAuliffe was an American astronaut and teacher who died while serving as a payload specialist on board Space Shuttle Challenger, which exploded during STS-51-L. McAuliffe was all set to become the first teacher in space as she was part of the NASA Teacher in Space Project. In 2004, she was posthumously honored with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

 5 
Sonya Curry
(American Educator and Mother of Basketball Players ‘Stephen Curry’ and ‘Seth Curry’)
Sonya Curry
13
Birthdate: May 30, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Radford, Virginia, United States

The wife of NBA star Dell Curry and the mother of basketball players Seth and Stephen Curry, Sonya Curry grew up amid poverty and often had racist encounters with the Ku Klux Klan. Once a star volleyball player at Virginia Tech, she now heads the Christian Montessori School founded by her.

 6 
Jane Elliott
(Educator Known for Her ‘Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes’ Exercise)
Jane Elliott
11
Birthdate: November 30, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Riceville, Iowa, United States

Jane Elliott is an American schoolteacher best known for inventing and popularizing the Blue eyes/Brown eyes exercise. The exercise, which was first conducted on April 5, 1968, with her third-grade class, aims at helping people understand the ill-effects of racial discrimination. The classroom exercise has inspired a couple of documentaries namely The Eye of the Storm and The Angry Eye.  

 7 
Mamie Till
(American Civil Rights Activist, Who Lost Her Son 'Emmett Till' to a Racist Attack)
Mamie Till
8
Birthdate: November 23, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Webb, Mississippi, United States
Died: January 6, 2003

Following the violent lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till by a group of white men, his mother Mamie Till-Mobley made a marked contribution to the fight against racism. She became a prominent civil rights activist and established the Emmett Till Players, a group that lectured on hope and unity.

 8 
Brigitte Macron
(Former Educator and Wife of Emmanuel Macron, President of France)
Brigitte Macron
12
Birthdate: April 13, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Amiens, France

Wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, Brigitte Macron was, interestingly, her husband’s literature and theater teacher at Lycée la Providence. She was the chief strategist during Macron’s 2016-2017 election. Twenty-four years Macron’s senior, Brigitte, was to be the official “First Lady” of France, until a signature campaign thwarted such plans. 

 9 
Erin Murphy
(Actress)
Erin Murphy
10
Birthdate: June 17, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Encino, California, USA
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
 10 
Graça Machel
(First Lady of Mozambique (1975-1986), First Lady of South Africa (1998-1999))
Graça Machel
5
Birthdate: October 17, 1945
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gaza Province, Mozambique

Graça Machel is known for her association with Mozambique’s FRELIMO movement and has been the country’s first education minister. She has also been married to both former Mozambican president Samora Machel and South African president Nelson Mandela. Through The Elders, she is devoted to working for women’s and children’s rights.

 11 
Marilyn Milian
(Judge, TV personality)
Marilyn Milian
7
Birthdate: May 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Astoria, New York, United States
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 12 
Mary McLeod Bethune
(American Civil Rights Activist and Founder of the 'National Council of Negro Women')
Mary McLeod Bethune
5
Birthdate: July 10, 1875
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mayesville, South Carolina, United States
Died: May 18, 1955

Mary McLeod Bethune was an American civil rights activist, educator, womanist, humanitarian, and philanthropist. She is credited with founding the National Council of Negro Women. Bethune also played a key role in the creation of the Black Cabinet while serving as an adviser to Franklin Roosevelt. In 1973, Bethune was made an indutee of the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 13 
Louise Lasser
(Actress)
Louise Lasser
8
Birthdate: April 11, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 14 
Marva Collins
(American educator)
Marva Collins
4
Birthdate: August 31, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Monroeville, Alabama, United States
Died: June 24, 2015
 15 
Lauren Lane
(Actress)
Lauren Lane
6
Birthdate: February 2, 1961
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 16 
Diane Baker
(Actress)
Diane Baker
4
Birthdate: February 25, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 17 
Gabriela Rodríguez de Bukele
(Educator)
Gabriela Rodríguez de Bukele
5
Birthdate: March 31, 1985
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Salvador, El Salvador
 18 
Cheng Yen
(Buddhist nun, Philanthropist)
Cheng Yen
11
Birthdate: May 14, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Taichung City, Taiwan
 19 
Anna Leonowens
(British Travel Writer, Educator, and Social Activist)
Anna Leonowens
6
Birthdate: November 5, 1834
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ahmednagar, India
Died: January 19, 1915

Indian-born British author Anna Leonowens is best remembered for her memoir The English Governess at the Siamese Court, which related her experience as a governess of the children of King Mongkut of Siam. The musical The King and I and the novel Anna and the King of Siam were inspired by her life.

 20 
Essie Mae Washington-Williams
(American Educator Best Known as the Daughter of Former Governor of South Carolina, Strom Thurmond)
Essie Mae Washington-Williams
5
Birthdate: October 12, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Aiken, South Carolina, United States
Died: February 4, 2013

In 2003, Essie Mae Washington-Williams made headlines when she announced that she was the illegitimate, bi-racial child of senator Strom Thurmond and his Black maid. It is believed Essie’s mother was 16 when she had her, and that Thurmond didn’t accept her, as he was politically pro-segregation.

 21 
Mary Beard
(British Scholar of Ancient Rome)
Mary Beard
8
Birthdate: January 1, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Much Wenlock, Shropshire, England

Known as the most famous classicist in the world, Mary Beard is a Cambridge professor who is also quite popular for her controversial blog A Don's Life. A DBE and OBE, she also contributes to BBC radio and TV shows and has been an editor for The Times Literary Supplement.

 22 
T'Keyah Crystal Keymah
(Actress)
T'Keyah Crystal Keymah
4
Birthdate: October 13, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 23 
Maria Tallchief
(American Ballet Dancer)
Maria Tallchief
4
Birthdate: January 24, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fairfax
Died: April 11, 2013

Maria Tallchief was an American ballet dancer. Widely regarded as America's first major prima ballerina, Tallchief is credited with revolutionizing ballet. A close associate of George Balanchine, Tallchief went on to become the first star in New York City Ballet, the company co-founded by Balanchine. A National Medal of Arts recipient, Tallchief also received other prestigious awards during her career.

 24 
Pamela Des Barres
(Musician)
Pamela Des Barres
6
Birthdate: September 9, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reseda, California, USA
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 25 
Ruby Wax
(Actress)
Ruby Wax
5
Birthdate: April 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
 26 
Carol S. Dweck
(Best Known for Her Work on The 'Mindset' of Psychological Traits)
Carol S. Dweck
5
Birthdate: October 17, 1976
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.

 27 
Lacey Schwimmer
(Ballroom Dancer)
Lacey Schwimmer
9
Birthdate: June 28, 1988
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Redlands, California, United States
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 28 
Erin Gruwell
(Teacher)
Erin Gruwell
4
Birthdate: August 15, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: California
 29 
Emma Willard
(American Women's Rights Activist)
Emma Willard
3
Birthdate: February 23, 1787
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Connecticut, United States
Died: April 15, 1870
 30 
Lis Wiehl
(Author of fiction and nonfiction books, and a legal analyst)
Lis Wiehl
4
Birthdate: August 19, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Yakima, Washington, United States
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 31 
Amber Nash
(Actress)
Amber Nash
7
Birthdate: June 6, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 32 
Amy Chua
(Lawyer)
Amy Chua
5
Birthdate: October 26, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Champaign, Illinois Champaign, Illinois, U.S.
 33 
Deborah Sampson
(Military woman)
Deborah Sampson
4
Birthdate: December 17, 1760
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Plympton, Massachusetts, USA
Died: April 29, 1827
 34 
Regina S Peruggi
4
Birthdate: 1947 AD
Birthplace: United States

Regina S Peruggi is an educator, who became the first woman to become president of Kingsborough Community College. Prior to this, she served as president of Marymount Manhattan College. She has been on the board of directors of many educational institutions. She was honored as a New York State Senate Woman of Distinction in 2006.

 35 
Diana Canova
(Actress)
Diana Canova
6
Birthdate: June 1, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: West Palm Beach, Florida, United States
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 36 
Virginia Johnson
(Sexologist)
Virginia Johnson
5
Birthdate: February 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Springfield, Missouri, United States
Died: July 24, 2013
 37 
Mary Harris Jones
(Irish-born American Schoolteacher and Activist)
Mary Harris Jones
4
Birthdate: May 1, 1830
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cork, Ireland
Died: November 30, 1930

After losing her husband and children in a yellow fever epidemic and her dress shop in the great Chicago fire, schoolteacher and dressmaker Mary Harris Jones became an activist, earning the nickname Mother Jones. A prominent unionist for coal miners and other workers, she also co-founded the Social Democratic Party.

 38 
Jesmyn Ward
(Novelist)
Jesmyn Ward
4
Birthdate: April 2, 1977
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: DeLisle, Mississippi, US
 39 
Debra Lafave
(Teacher)
Debra Lafave
5
Birthdate: August 28, 1980
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Riverview, Florida, United States
 40 
Sue Johanson
(Canadian Public Speaker, Sex Educator, and Registered Nurse)
Sue Johanson
4
Birthdate: March 16, 1930
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
 41 
Fei-Fei Li
(Computer scientist)
Fei-Fei Li
5
Birthdate: 1976 AD
Birthplace: Beijing
 42 
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw
(American Civil Rights Advocate and a Leading Scholar)
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw
5
Birthdate: May 5, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Canton, Ohio, United States
 43 
Lillian Moller Gilbreth
4
Birthdate: May 24, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Died: January 2, 1972
 44 
Katharine Drexel
(American Heiress, Philanthropist, Religious Sister, and Educator)
Katharine Drexel
4
Birthdate: November 26, 1858
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 3, 1955

Roman Catholic saint Katharine Drexel, the founder of Xavier University, was born to Philadelphia banker Francis Anthony Drexel and picked up he philanthropic habits from her father. In spite of inheriting a massive fortune, she devoted her life to building schools and churches for the racially underprivileged.

 45 
Joyce Maynard
(Novelists)
Joyce Maynard
7
Birthdate: November 5, 1953
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Exeter, New Hampshire, USA
 46 
Nnedi Okorafor
(Writer)
Nnedi Okorafor
4
Birthdate: April 8, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
 47 
Sarah Weddington
(American Law Professor, Attorney, and Advocate For Women's Rights)
Sarah Weddington
3
Birthdate: February 5, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Abilene, Texas, U.S

Sarah Weddington was an American law professor, attorney, and advocate for women's rights. She is best remembered for representing Norma McCorvey in the famous Roe v. Wade case before the US Supreme Court. The case was adapted into a TV film in which Sarah Weddington was played by Amy Madigan.

 48 
Deborah Eisenberg
4
Birthdate: November 20, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Winnetka, Illinois, United States
 49 
Amy Cuddy
(Psychologist)
Amy Cuddy
4
Birthdate: June 23, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Robesonia, Pennsylvania, USA
 50 
Margaret MacMillan
(Canadian Historian and Professor at the University of Oxford)
Margaret MacMillan
4
Birthdate: December 23, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Canadian historian and Oxford professor Margaret MacMillan is the great-granddaughter of former British prime minister David Lloyd George. Best known for her works such as Peacemakers and Women of the Raj, she is also a Royal Society of Literature fellow and has earned several honorary degrees.