Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison among Women of the Century for arts, literature and media

A Nobel prize winner (Toni Morrison) and a Nationwide Medal of the Arts recipient (Georgia O’Keeffe). Two media powerhouses (Oprah and Cristina Saralegui). Those are only some of our Ladies of the Century who constitute arts and literature and media.  

To mark the 100-year anniversary of girls gaining the fitting to vote, USA TODAY, with the assistance of knowledgeable panel, compiled its Nationwide Ladies of the Century, an inventory of 100 girls who’ve formed The united states since 1920. One of the most girls are widely known, and a few of them you’ll most probably be studying about for the primary time.  

Ladies of the Century: Spotting the accomplishments of girls from the ultimate 100 years

USA TODAY

Maya Angelou

Creator, activist 

(1928-2014)

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou
Photograph: Chuck Burton, AP, Representation: USA TODAY Community

Maya Angelou used to be one of the iconic writers, poets and essayists of all time. In 1969, years prior to #MeToo introduced sexual attack problems into on a regular basis dialog, Angelou wrote about her personal annoying adolescence reviews in her memoir “I Know Why the Caged Chook Sings.” Additionally a passionate civil rights activist, Angelou used to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 by way of President Barack Obama.

Julia Alvarez

Award-winning creator 

(1950- )

Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez
Photograph: RAMON ESPINOSA, AP, Representation: USA TODAY Community

Creator, poet and essayist Julia Alvarez’s works span cultures, charting her personal id formation and reviews as a Dominican American. Very best recognized for her novels “How the García Women Misplaced Their Accents” and “Within the Time of the Butterflies,” Alvarez has received a lot of awards together with the Pura Belpre and Americas Awards for her youngsters’s novels, the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Exceptional Fulfillment in American Literature. In 2014, she used to be a recipient of the Nationwide Medal of Arts.

Denise Scott Brown

Architect  

(1931- )

Denise Scott Brown

Denise Scott Brown
Photograph: Gary Gershoff, Getty Photographs, Representation: USA TODAY Community

Born in Zambia, a rustic in east Africa, and raised in a Johannesburg suburb, architect and concrete planner Denise Scott Brown – now based totally in Philadelphia – instructed on New York’s Global Industry Middle website online and Philadelphia’s Penn’s Touchdown. In 1989, she printed the well-known essay “Room on the most sensible? Sexism and the Megastar Gadget in Structure,” during which she describes her battle to be identified as equivalent in her company. She has since been an suggest for ladies in structure and has spoken out about discrimination inside the occupation.

Lorraine Hansberry

Playwright 

(1930-1965)

Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry
Photograph: AP/NY Bring in Tribune, ILLUSTRATION: USA TODAY NETWORK

The granddaughter of a freed slave, at age 29 Lorraine Hansberry changed into the youngest American – and the primary Black playwright – to win a New York Critics’ Circle Award. She first used her writing to anonymously categorical her lesbian id when contributing letters to the Daughters of Bilitis mag in 1957. Her maximum notable paintings, “A Raisin within the Solar,” revolves round a suffering Black circle of relatives in Chicago. Her play used to be the primary to be produced on Broadway by way of an African American lady.

Zora Neale Hurston

Novelist, anthropologist 

(1891-1960)

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston
Photograph: Library of Congress, ILLUSTRATION: USA TODAY NETWORK

A creator whose works cemented her legacy as a power on historical past, Zora Neal Hurston used to be born to previously enslaved other folks in Alabama, however grew up within the first included Black municipality in Florida. Her hobby for the humanities grew from her reviews as a Black lady and from her circle of relatives’s participation in politics. She wrote a minimum of 4 novels, 10 performs and greater than 50 poems, in addition to ethnographic analysis on on a regular basis Black lifestyles. Her maximum notable guide is “Their Eyes Had been Looking at God.”

Eunice Johnson

Co-founder of Ebony mag 

(1916-2010)

Eunice Johnson

Eunice Johnson
Photograph: JEFF ROBERSON, AP, Representation: USA TODAY Community

Co-founder of Ebony mag – and credited with naming it – Eunice Johnson used to be born in Selma, Alabama. In 1961, she started generating the Ebony Type Truthful, a touring type display created essentially for a Black target audience that raised thousands and thousands to finance the schooling of Black scholars. In 1974, she additionally introduced Type Truthful Cosmetics, a make-up line particularly created for ladies of colour. The road, nonetheless lively these days, used to be as soon as the most important Black-owned beauty corporate on this planet.

Edna Lewis

Chef, creator 

(1916-2006)

Edna Lewis

Edna Lewis
Photograph: Invoice Osinski, AP, Representation: USA TODAY Community

The godmother of Southern meals, Edna Lewis is arguably the one maximum influential determine in American regional cooking. Born in Freetown, Virginia, the granddaughter of previously enslaved other folks, Lewis is frequently credited with pioneering the usage of recent, seasonal components in house cooking. Thru 4 cookbooks, she championed Black Southern delicacies as the root of American meals. She used to be the lead prepare dinner at Cafe Nicholson, a well-known New York Town Southern eatery, however spent a lot of her later lifestyles within the South.  

Maya Lin

Clothier of Vietnam Veterans Memorial 

(1959- )

Maya Lin

Maya Lin
Photograph: Maya Lin Studio, Representation: USA TODAY Community

As a senior at Yale, Maya Lin hurtled into the general public eye when she submitted the successful design for a Vietnam Veterans Memorial to be inbuilt Washington, D.C., in 1982. She created the Civil Rights Memorial of Bernard Law Montgomery, Alabama, in 1989 and The Ladies’s Desk at Yale in 1993. A loyal environmentalist, Lin is now designing The Extinction Mission, a memorial about biodiversity, the extinction of species and the connection of people to the surroundings.

Toni Morrison

Creator 

(1931-2019)

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison
Photograph: Jason DeCrow, AP, Representation: USA TODAY Community

The primary African American lady to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, Toni Morrison used to be the creator of 11 novels, together with the lauded “Tune of Solomon” and “Liked,” which received the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. In 1993, the Nobel Prize committee described Morrison as a lady “who in novels characterised by way of visionary power and poetic import, offers lifestyles to an crucial side of American fact.” She wrote at the bonds of circle of relatives, group and race, weaving richly expressive depictions of Black The united states. In 2012, she used to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

Georgia O’Keeffe

Pioneer of American modernism 

(1887-1986)

Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe
Photograph: Related Press, ILLUSTRATION: USA TODAY NETWORK

Well-known for her contribution to modernism, Georgia O’Keeffe grew up on a farm close to Solar Prairie, Wisconsin. Through the mid-1920s, O’Keeffe used to be identified for her art work of New York skyscrapers. She additionally painted larger-scale close-u.s.of plant life, for which she is maximum recognized. The primary lady to obtain a retrospective on the Museum of Trendy Artwork, O’Keeffe used to be offered with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977. She gained the Nationwide Medal of Arts in 1985.

Cristina Saralegui 

Cuban American media persona 

(1948- )

Cristina Saralegui

Cristina Saralegui
Photograph: Tony Gutierrez, AP, Representation: USA TODAY Community

Cristina Saralegui’s circle of relatives fled her birthplace, Havana, when she used to be 12 to flee Fidel Castro’s regime, settling in Florida. Saralegui changed into a media powerhouse, first conserving the editor-in-chief place for “Cosmopolitan en Espanol” for greater than a decade, and later starring on her personal Spanish-language communicate display, “El Display de Cristina.” She used to be the primary Latina inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Corridor of Status and the primary Spanish-language TV persona to obtain a celeb at the Hollywood Stroll of Status.   

Amy Tan

Creator 

(1952- ) 

Amy Tan

Amy Tan
Photograph: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY, Representation: USA TODAY Community

Amy Tan’s tales and best-selling novels, together with “The Pleasure Good fortune Membership” and “The Kitchen God’s Spouse,” presented the struggles of Chinese language American citizens to the mainstream public. Born in Oakland, California, she started her occupation as a language building specialist and then grew to become to fiction writing in her 30s, opening a window into the Chinese language American revel in, specifically the dynamics between moms and daughters. During the last 4 many years, her writings were translated into 35 languages and tailored for the level and display. 

Ida B. Wells

Journalist, civil rights activist 

(1862-1931)

Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells
Photograph: Library of Congress, Representation: Veronica Bravo, USA TODAY

Born into slavery, Ida B. Wells changed into an educator, investigative reporter and chief within the civil rights motion. Within the past due 19th and early 20th centuries, Wells changed into an outspoken suggest in opposition to violence, racism and sexism. She helped discovered the Nationwide Affiliation of Coloured Ladies’s Golf equipment and raised consciousness of lynchings in opposition to Black males. In 1892, she moved to Chicago after an offended mob burned her newspaper development. There, she persevered her anti-lynching paintings and started running with nationwide civil rights leaders and the ladies’s suffrage motion.

Oprah Winfrey

Media powerhouse 

(1954- )

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey
Photograph: Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY, Representation: USA TODAY Community

A billionaire media government, Oprah Winfrey is among the most renowned, influential and  rich girls on this planet. She runs her personal TV community, mag and manufacturing corporate. She used to be host of the highest-rated communicate display in TV historical past, successful 16 Sunlight hours Emmy Awards. She is an Academy Award-nominated actress. In 2007, she opened a college for underprivileged ladies in South Africa. She used to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013 and offered with the Golden Globes’ Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2018.

Helen Zia

Journalist 

(1952- )

Helen Zia

Helen Zia
Photograph: Jemal Countess, AP, Representation: USA TODAY Community

Creator and previous editor of Ms. Mag, Helen Zia is the daughter of Chinese language immigrants and has spent maximum of her lifestyles talking out about problems like human rights, homophobia and ladies’s rights. She has written a lot of books, is a Fulbright student and used to be former founding board co-chair of the Ladies’s Media Middle. In 2008, Zia served as torchbearer in San Francisco for the Beijing Olympics and in 2010 used to be a witness within the federal marriage equality case argued prior to the U.S. Splendid Court docket.

Q&A: Helen Zia has observed hostility in opposition to Asian American citizens prior to. ‘We didn’t be informed sufficient or some other folks have forgotten.’

Contributing: USA TODAY newshounds Jenna Ryu, Elinor Aspegren, Autumn Schoolman, Sarah Elbeshbishi, Ella Lee and Camille Caldera. Representation: Andrea Brunty. 

Resources used within the Ladies of the Century checklist challenge come with newspaper articles, state archives, ancient web pages, encyclopedias and different assets. 

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