If you take a look on the most influential women in history then you will find that these greatest women were not only famous leaders but also among the greatest athletes and social workers.
For thousands of years Women have fought for equal rights and sadly they are still not considered equal to men. However there were few women who stood out in this man dominated world and became the most powerful, most influential and most inspirational women of all time. Here we present you 50 greatest women in history:
Greatest Women Of All Time
50. Martha Stewart
Sometimes Martha Stewart reminds of Forrest Gump. In the Movie, Forrest learned everything that he stepped into. Similarly Martha played Forrest in real life. She is the queen of Domesticity and there is hardly anything that she can’t do. From being popular Businesswomen to a Bestseller author to a TV personality, Martha surely is one of the greatest women in recent history.
49. Golda Meir
It is hard to imagine that Israel had a Female Prime Minister. But it was the strong will and personality of Golda Meir that she became the World’s fourth and Israel’s first female Prime minister. Her stature in politics is compared and she is one of the most respected women in the history.
48. Estee Lauder
Imagine that when the list of 20 most genius business person is compiled a woman left everyone behind and ranked in the list. That was the genius of Estee Lauder, the woman who founded cosmetic company of same name in 1946. She had a great sense of Business and under her tenure the company achieved impossible heights.
47. Jiang Qing
Jiang Qing was born in 1914 in China and started her career as an actress. But no one thought that a shy actress would become one of the most powerful women in China. It was Jiang Qing who made the Cultural Revolution a success in the 70s and became a global icon. She is arguably one of the greatest women ever.
46. Margaret Mead
Believe it or not but Margaret Mead had an indirect influence on the American Culture. She was a major reason of why American culture became open to most topics. Margaret Mead was an excellent scholar and her studies on Anthropology were revolutionary. She brought a major culture change in American Society.
45. Emily Dickinson
Its interesting to note that an Introvert person as Emily Dickinson could become one of the most prominent figure and one of the greatest women ever. Emily was born 1830 in a socially fit and stable family. However she was so introvert that she met very few people during her life. She was a poet who wrote more than 1800 poems in her life. Sadly only two dozen poems were published during her lifetime. Those too were highly altered. However when all her poems were published posthumously, they became very popular. Soon she became an influential figure. She is surely one of the greatest women ever.
44. Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley was born in 1797 and her novel Dracula became so famous that it actual became the parameter of judging quality of a novel. Mary inspired thousands of authors and she became one of the most important women ever.
43. Mata Hari
Even though Mata hari is a controversial figure in history but if you read her story you will get to know that she was surely an expert in her work. Mata Hari was just a dancer in Dutch court but she was convicted of being a spy. She is considered as one of the greatest female spy ever and her story inspired many fictional characters from James Bond to Jason bourne.
42. Maya Angelou
When it comes to civil rights activists we always remember Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X but it should not be forgotten that one female who joined both leaders in their causes was Maya Angelou. She was a popular poet and her involvement in civil rights activism made her one of the most important women in history.
41. Virginia Woolf
It is sad to say that one of the greatest women in History, Virginia Woolf committed suicide at the age of 59. However in this short span of time she influenced the society and contributed in making world a better place. She is one of the most loved authors of 20th century.
40. Julia Child
Julia Child was probably the first chef who acclaimed international fame. She brought a lot of changes in American cuisines and she was one of the most respected women.
39. Frida Kahlo
Frieda Kahlo was a Mexican painter who was born in 1907. She was known for painting her self-portraits. Early 20th century was an era where women were supressed to show their talents or even their feelings. But Frida fought against this thinking of society and went on to become one of the most popular painters of 20th century.
38. Aretha Franklin
In the male dominated Music industry, Aretha Franklin showed how much talented and gifted singer she is. She paved way for many popular future singers from Whitney Houston to Madonna. She is a musical legend and very great women.
37. Lata Mangeshkar
Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar became the voice of the nation during 50s. She is one of the most respected women in India and she is always called as the most soulful singer in the world.
36. Jane Addams
Jane Addams was such a prominent social figure that it is hard to describe all her works in just one post. There was time when she was more popular than US President Theodore Roosevelt. She created the Hull house that resettled migrated Europeans in after the world war.
35. Corazon Aquino
Corazon is the perfect example of How a politician should be. She was called as the voice of common people and even though she was one of the most powerful women in the world in late 80s yet she was down to earth and lived a very simple life. She was an ideal woman and brought a lot of changes in Asian politics.
34. Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel was a scientist before entering into politics. She became chancellor of Germany in 2005 and ever since she is cited as one of the most powerful women in the world. Her influence on modern culture is open secret. She is often chosen as the greatest women in modern history.
33. Queen Elizabeth 2
Elizabeth 2 is the longest reigning queen of England. She became queen in 1952 and after that she witnessed a lot of social and cultural changes in the society. The technology just boomed in this time period. However Elizabeth too never used her power against humanity and this makes her one of the most lovable person in the world.
32. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah winfrey was once kicked out of her job and she was left broken. But soon she turned the table and become one of the most popular talk show host in the history of Television. She was not just another Talk show host but her opinion on social and political issues mattered a lot. It influenced the opinion of common citizen of American.
31. Hillary Clinton
Hilary Clinton’s tenure as a politician is often considered controversial but there is no denying of fact that Hilary influenced American Politics a lot. She rose up from a cheated house wife of US President Bill Clinton to one of the most influential political leader in the world.
30. Harriet Tubman
The story of Harriet Tubman is inspirational and can be made into a big Hollywood movie with the potential of winning Oscar. Harriet was born into slavery in 1822 and for 27 years she faced all the inhumane punishments a slave would receive during those days. She became ill at the age of 27 and was considered unfit for slavery. She got no buyer and this gave her a chance to escape. She escaped from Slavery. But she didn’t stop here. She helped in the escape of hundreds of slave families and later on also became a spy in US army. This surely makes her one of the greatest women ever born.
29. Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor was the longest serving first lady in the history of America but this was not the reason why she became popular. It was her involvement in Human rights activism that made her a popular person. In fact she was later called as the First lady of the World. She was head Human Rights commission of United Nations and it was because of her that the UN declared Human rights globally.
28. Susan B Anthony
Susan Brownwell Anthony was born in 1820 and went on to become one of the most influential social right activists. She found for equal women rights and also stood against Social Injustice. This made her one of the greatest women ever.
27. Helen Keller
The story of Helen Keller is well known in the world. She was born deaf and blind but she met with the perfect teacher Anne Sullivan who broke communication barriers and taught her about politics and arts. She was the first deaf blind person to earn Degree in BA. She went on to become a major social figure. Her date of birth was later celebrated as Helen Keller day.
26. Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson was a Marine biologist and author. Her work in marine biology helped in increasing awareness about Global warming. She published several books on global warming and marine life. It was due to her work that several issues in global warming were attended.
25. Indira Gandhi
The Iron Lady of India, India Gandhi too was a controversial figure. She was killed by terrorists in 1984 but it is not hidden that she was loved by masses that is why she was elected multiple times as the prime minister of India. Also she gave many popular slogans.
24. Amelia Earhart
The aviation Pioneer of America became symbol of courage and determination after she became first female pilot of US army. She flew across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932. It was her lifelong dream to become a pilot. Sadly She went missing after her plane lost communication in 1937. She was never seen after that.
The story Pocahontas is presented with a romantic touch in several movies, including the famous Disney movie of same name. However Her impact on Pop culture is much beyond Romance and love. Pocahontas has stamp of her own and several of her descendants excelled in various fields ranging from Theatre and Movies to Astronomy and Arts.
In the era of Michael Jackson and Prince no one ever thought that a lady would come and not just dominate the whole Pop music but also will become global icon. Madonna is arguably the most recognized women in the world. Her music may have declined in later years but there is no denying of the fact that Madonna reinvented Pop genre.
21. Diana Princess of Wales
There are many things that make Princess Diana a special woman. First she was one of the most beautiful Princesses the world ever witnessed. Secondly in her short and ill-fated Life, Diana did a lot of charity that made her ‘People’s Princess’. Thirdly she worked for Women Rights and fought for equality of women in society. Her untimely death made her even closer to the heart of People.
20. Marilyn Monroe
If you ever make a list of most desired women then there is no doubt that Marilyn Monroe will be on the top spot. Even though she is infamous for several of her stints but still she was the star who broke the barrier of women rights in cinema and entertainment.
19. Coco Chanel
Coco chanel wore many hats before becoming the greatest fashion designer of all time. She was a laundry maker, a local club singer and even a hat maker but her aim was some thing bigger. No one believed her when she pitched the idea of different fashion styles. But it was her strong determination and courage that soon made her one of the most influential people of 20th century.
18. Katherine Hepburn
Katherine is probably the finest actress the world has ever seen. She was a very focused and determined woman. She fought for equal wage for female actors and went on to become one of the most influential actresses in the world. She has won the highest number of Academy award for best actress (4) and she was also called as the greatest Female Star of cinema by AFI.
17. Margaret Thatcher
The great Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher was surely a controversial figure but she was the backbone of World’s politics during the 80s.She was prime minister of Great Britain for 10 long years (1979 to 1990) and during this time period her policies affected a lot in world’s economy.
16. Audrey Hepburn
Is it Just me or do you think to that Audrey Hepburn was the most beautiful women ever? I have never seen anyone as beautiful as Audrey Hepburn. She was not just a beautiful body but a beautiful soul. She was one of the most popular women of 20th century and she did a lot of humanitarian work. She also fought for animal rights.
15. Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung san suu Kyi is a Burmese Politician and she was under house arrest for 15 years. She was released recently in 2010 due to international pressure. However it was her activity in politics that made her one of the most important woman in asia and then in the world.
Cleopatra is said to be one of the most beautiful women in history. However there are no valid reasons to believe that. But it was not her beauty that made her one of the greatest women ever. It was her rule on Ancient Egypt and her policies that made her popular among masses. Cleopatra defended her kingdom against Rome and went on to become one of the most popular historical figures.
13. Anne Frank
Anne frank lived for just 15 years and was executed by German force in Nazi’s Concentration camp during world war 2. However, even in this small ill-fated life, Anne was able to inspire millions of people globally. She started writing a diary at the age of 13 and wrote about her day to day life in Germany occupied Netherlands. She shared her views on War and riots and she effectively touched common man soul through it.
12. Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto too deserves the title of ‘Iron Lady’. She was first female prime minister of a Muslim nation and that too of Pakistan. She was elected twice as the prime minister of Pakistan. She fought for women equality in Pakistan and once quoted that Democracy is the best revenge. She even ended Military dictatorship in Pakistan.
11. Joan Of Arc
Joan of Arc is one of the most reputed and respected woman in History. She was the one who revolted against Britain. She contributed in the French revolution. Her martyrdom at mere age of 18 only made her more popular and respectable. She is the true icon of courage and determination.
Mirabai was a saint in born in India. Her devotion to lord Krishna is Unmatched. She was an excellent poet and her contribution in Bhakti yoga made people more devotional to god. She was a good human being.
9. Emmeline Pankhurst
British Social Activist Pankhurst is believed by many as the woman who helped shaping the modern world. She fought for women rights and gender equality. She died in 1928 but her legacy is still alive.
8. Rosa Parks
Who could have ever thought that an African American woman’s decision to not give up seat to a white male will result in a nation-wide revolution? Rosa parks became a civil rights activist and fought against racism and discrimination. Her refusal to give up her bus seat to a white male landed her into jail but then it resulted in a national issue. She is arguably one of the most motivational and inspirational women of all time.
7. Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria was born in 1819 and reined for 63 years over almost the whole world. Under her rule the Great Britain expanded too many nations. However it was not just British rule’s expansion but the advancement in science, technology and the industrial revolution that marked the Victorian era as one of the most important event in History.
6. Jane Austen
Jane austen is probably one of the most popular author of all time. Her novels such as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Mansfield Park are milestones in English literature. She is one of the most influential authors of all time.
5. Elizabeth 1
Queen Elizabeth sat on the throne during the time of unrest in Great Britain. However it was due to her intelligence and also tolerance towards other religions that resulted in improvement of English literature, culture, economy and social status. Elizabeth became queen of people and her rule is called as the Elizabethan era.
4. Marie Curie
The story of Marie curie is often told in school books. She was surely the most inspirational woman of 20th century. Curie was born in Poland and she often dreamt of becoming a scientist. Her research on radioactivity and radioactive elements helped in shaping the modern tech world. She won the Nobel Prize twice and was the first woman to do so.
3. Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale saved countless lives during her life. She chose the profession of a nurse which was considered bad for a woman. However her determination helped her to overcome society barriers and during the Crimean war she nursed hundreds of soldiers saving their lives.
2. Catherine the Great
The largest country in the world – Russia, was ruled by a woman named Catherine. Her rule is considered as the golden time period of Russian empire. She ruled from 1762 to 1796 and influenced a lot on the Russian culture at the time.
1. Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa’s selfless service to the humanity is unmatched. She is one of the greatest women of all time. She won Nobel Prize for peace and when she died in 1997 the whole world cried for her.
Who do you think is the greatest women of all time?