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5 Women Heroes You Might Not Have Heard Of Yet

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4.  Wilma Rudolph

Photo Credit: Seiya234

You may know this name and the fact that Rudolph was the first American woman to win three  gold medals in a single Olympics, but are you aware of the enormous odds she was up against?

Wilma Rudolph was born in 1940 in Bethlehem, Tennessee, the twentieth of 22 children. Born with polio, she also suffered from pneumonia and scarlet fever as a young child, and wore a leg brace between the ages of five and 11. With predictions that she would never be able to walk properly, Rudolph nevertheless got involved in school sports by the time she was 13, and soon began winning track races.

At the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia, her relay team won the bronze medal. Four years later, she set a world record for the 200 meter dash during the Olympic trials. Then during the Olympic games in Rome, she became the first American woman to win three gold medals in the 100 meter dash, the 200 meter dash and the 400 meter relay.

Wow! Starting off facing such formidable obstacles, Wilma Rudolph certainly achieved greatness and received numerous awards in recognition of her success, including the Black Sports Hall of Fame, the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

In 1993, she became the first recipient of President Clinton’s National Sports Award. She died of a brain tumor at the age of 54.


5.  Maria Montessori

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

As a teacher myself, I had no hesitation in choosing Maria Montessori for this list. She was born in Rome, Italy in 1870 to an upper middle class family, and in 1896 she became Italy’s first female doctor. One can only imagine how persistent she had to be to achieve such a seemingly impossible goal.

After that she started working with disabled children but soon abandoned the traditional reading and reciting teaching methods, favoring the use of concrete objects. She revolutionized education by her belief that children learn best by doing and experiencing, and not by memorizing. When her students scored higher than the “regular” students on the same test, she knew she wanted to extend her approach to all children, and she opened a Casa dei Bambini in the slums of Rome.

Her influence on the education of young children has been enormous, not just in the numerous Montessori schools around the world, but for all preschool and kindergarten students.

Montessori died in 1952.

Of course there are plenty more female heroes — who would you like to see on this list?

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3:58PM PST on Feb 23, 2014

These women should have more recognition

11:04AM PST on Feb 3, 2014

Gey out a petition, for women as international heroes n contributors. While u r at it expose the truth about Enstien,yes Albert Einstein. His long time girlfriend helped him solve his math equations that lead to almost all of his success. However, when she became pregnant he abandoned her like all great men do,that's why they r great. Steal credit from a woman,knock her up kick it to the crub. Yes what a great man that Albert Einstein.

8:58AM PDT on Aug 23, 2013

I knew the last two, we read about Wilma Rudolph in elementary school, and we implement Montessori style homeschooling so :) amazing women

4:33AM PDT on Aug 4, 2013

Nice article. I want to nominate my Mum Hilda, my late wife Bella, and Mary Woolstonecraft.

4:12AM PDT on Aug 4, 2013

Great list, thanks for sharing

12:05PM PDT on Jul 17, 2013

Oh now I know about Monessori! Thank you, it is so interesting!

12:31PM PDT on Jul 16, 2013


8:29AM PDT on Jul 15, 2013

Thank you so much.. loved your list of women heroes.

5:28PM PDT on Jul 14, 2013

my nominee is Arlene Blum - mountain climber and chemist. She helped convince California lawmakers to give up the archaic smolder test that does not keep us safe and does increase contamination of our homes (by fire retardant chemicals that escape).

8:08AM PDT on Jul 14, 2013


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