Updated: Jun 5
Welcome to my journey through the inspiring lives of the top 100 famous women who have truly shaped our world. These are women who, from every corner of the globe, have made a significant impact, becoming universally recognized figures and eminent females in their respective fields. From the most famous woman in the world to those celebrated worldwide, I'll be sharing stories of these influential women that not only mark significant moments in history but also remind us of the immense potential each woman holds. So join me as I delve into the fascinating lives of these high-profile women and uncover the substantial contributions they've made to our society.
We've curated a list of the 100 most influential women in history from across the globe.
1. Princess Diana (1961–1997): Renowned humanitarian and charity advocate, she was a beloved Princess of Wales and a significant British figure.
2. Indira Gandhi (1917–1984): Serving as India's third Prime Minister, her political acumen greatly influenced India's post-war constitution and societal structure.
3. Queen Victoria (1819–1901): Under her reign as Britain's monarch during the 19th century, Britain and its Empire rose significantly in global prominence.
4. Madonna (1958– ): This controversial American singer-songwriter is recognized globally for her unique music and is the best-selling female artist of all time.
5. Mary Magdalene (4 BCE–40 CE): Known for her devotion to Jesus Christ, she is recorded as the first person to encounter the resurrected Jesus.
6. Benazir Bhutto (1953–2007): A trailblazer, she became the first woman to lead a Muslim state as the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
7. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929–1994): As the wife of John F. Kennedy, she became a cultural and fashion symbol of the 1960s.
8. Cleopatra (69 BCE–30 BCE): The last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, famous for her relationships with Roman rulers Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
9. Joan of Arc (1412–1431): Inspired a French revolt against British rule and was ultimately martyred for alleged witchcraft.
10. Marilyn Monroe (1926–1962): A renowned actress, model, and icon of post-war American culture.
11. Mother Teresa (1910–1997): Devoted her life to serving the poor and underprivileged, making a lasting impact through charity work.
12. Anne Frank (1929–1945): Her diary provides a poignant documentation of life in hiding during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam.
13. Audrey Hepburn (1929–1993): An iconic actress and humanitarian who worked for UNICEF, she's hailed as one of the greatest female screen legends.
14. Oprah Winfrey (1954– ): A symbol of American women empowerment, she's renowned for her influential chat show and book club.
15. Billie Jean King (1943– ): Esteemed tennis player and advocate for gender equality in sports.
16. Jacinda Ardern (1980– ): New Zealand's youngest female Prime Minister, admired for her empathetic and compassionate style of leadership.
17. Hillary Clinton (1947– ): Notable for her political roles as US Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential candidate.
18. Brigitte Bardot (1934– ): A French actress, dancer, and singer who also passionately advocates for animal rights.
19. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962): The wife of F.D. Roosevelt and a dedicated human rights activist.
20. Coco Chanel (1883–1971): Her innovative fashion designs in the 1920s set new trends and broke previous styles, establishing the influential Chanel brand.
21. Jennifer Lopez (1969– ): Known for her versatile talents in singing, acting, dancing, and producing, she has made significant contributions to American pop culture.
22. Margaret Thatcher (1925–2013): Britain's Prime Minister during the 1980s, noted for her strong, controversial leadership and international relationships.
23. Beyonce Knowles (1981– ): An American singer, dancer, and actress who achieved fame as the
24. Born in 1982, Catherine Middleton, also known as the Duchess of Cambridge, is the spouse of Prince William and has left a significant mark in the fashion industry.
25. Mata Hari, an intriguing character from 1876 to 1917, was an exotic dancer who faced execution for espionage during World War I.
26. J.K. Rowling, born in 1965, is an acclaimed writer, renowned for creating the Harry Potter series and numerous adult novels, such as The Casual Vacancy.
27. England's 16th-century monarch, Elizabeth I (1533–1603), played a pivotal role in stabilizing the monarchy in the aftermath of Henry VIII's reign.
28. Grace Kelly, a significant Hollywood personality in the 1950s, was an American actress who tied the knot with Prince Rainer of Monaco in 1956.
29. Angela Merkel, born in 1954, has been leading Germany as its Chancellor since 2005 and played a crucial role during the financial crisis as the unofficial leader of the European Union.
30. Ingrid Bergman, a Swedish actress born in 1915, was notable for her role in the classic film, Casablanca.
31. Catherine the Great, reigning from 1729 to 1796, was the Queen of Russia known for her welfare reforms aimed at serfs' betterment.
32. American actress, film producer, and humanitarian, Angelina Jolie, born in 1975, rose to fame with her role in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
33. Queen Elizabeth II, born in 1926, is the second-longest serving British monarch, with her reign commencing in 1953.
34. Rihanna, a singer, actress, and fashion designer from Barbados, was born in 1988.
35. Ellen Lee DeGeneres, born in 1958, is an American comedian and television personality. She is known for her roles in the TV sitcoms 'Ellen' and 'The Ellen Show'.
36. Jane Austen, an English author born in 1775, is known for her novels such as Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma.
37. Scarlett Johansson, an American actress, model, and singer, was born in 1984.
38. Lady Gaga, born in 1986, is an American singer, songwriter, activist, actress, and fashion designer. She is celebrated for her eccentric stage performances.
39. St Teresa of Avila, a Spanish saint, mystic, and writer, lived from 1515 to 1582.
40. Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese democrat, was born in 1945.
41. Harriet Beecher Stowe, born in 1811, was an American abolitionist. Her influential novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, played a crucial role in altering American attitudes towards slavery.
42. Mae West, a charismatic and controversial figure, was an American actress, singer, playwright, and wit, living from 1892 to 1980.
43. Agatha Christie, born in 1890, was a renowned crime fiction author, and the creator of the Poirot and Miss Marple detective series.
44. Florence Nightingale, a British nurse born in 1820 in Italy, worked tirelessly to improve hospital standards and nursing during the Crimean War.
45. Susan B. Anthony, an advocate for the abolition of slavery and the promotion of women's and workers' rights, was born in 1820.
46. Emily Dickinson, an American poet who led a secluded life, was born in 1830 and left a legacy of many short, vivid poems, often exploring death and immortality
47. Marie Antoinette, originally from Austria, served as the Queen of France from 1755–1793. She was sentenced to death during the French Revolution and was married to King Louis XVI.
48. Emmeline Pankhurst, an eminent British suffragist between 1858–1928, was a forefront campaigner advocating for women's voting rights.
49. Marie Curie, a physicist and chemist from Poland, was a Nobel laureate in both the disciplines of Physics and Chemistry, the first individual to achieve this honor.
50. Emily Murphy, the first woman magistrate in the British Empire, served the Canadian judiciary from 1868–1933.
The book "100 Women Who Made History: Remarkable Women Who Shaped Our World," available on Amazon, is highly recommended. It includes captivating stories of women who made a significant impact, including Joan of Arc, the Suffragettes, Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling, Malala Yousafzai, and others.
51. Zsa Zsa Gabor, born in Hungary in 1917, was an actress and a well-known figure in American society.
52. Bette Davis, an American actress from 1908–1989, is celebrated for her diverse roles across film, television, and theatre.
53. Catherine de Medici, born in Florence, Italy, in 1519, became the Queen of France at just 14 years old through marriage.
54. Helen Keller, who became both deaf and blind at 19 months old, fought against her disabilities to become a strong advocate for people with similar conditions from 1880–1968.
55. Emily Brönte, a famous English novelist and poet, was one of the Brönte sisters and is best known for her novel "Wuthering Heights."
56. Edith Piaf, a French singer born in 1915, is best known for her popular songs like "La Vie en rose" and "Non, je ne regrette rien."
57. Amelia Earhart, an American author and aviation pioneer from 1897–1937, was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo.
58. Raisa Gorbachev, wife of Mikhail Gorbachev, lived from 1932–1999 and was an active participant in Russia's humanitarian efforts.
59. Katharine Hepburn, an American actress who lived between 1907 and 2003, was a multiple Oscar winner.
60. Billie Holiday, who lived from 1915–1959, was known as the "First Lady of the Blues." She is considered one of the greatest jazz singers of all time.
61. Marlene Dietrich, a German-American actress whose career spanned several decades, became one of the biggest stars of Hollywood.
62. Rosa Parks, a significant figure in the civil rights movement, indirectly led to major civil rights laws in America by refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man.
63. Juliette Binoche, born in 1964, is a renowned French actress, artist, and dancer.
64. Eva Peron, an Argentine political figure and humanitarian who advocated for the less fortunate, died at the young age of 32 in 1952.
65. Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, played a significant role in the establishment of the Church of England. She was crowned queen in 1533 but was executed three years later for failing to give birth to a male heir.
66. Yoko Ono, a Japanese-American artist and musician born in 1933, was the wife of Beatles member John Lennon and also a fashion symbol.
67. Germaine Greer, a
67. Germaine Greer, born in 1939, emerged as a significant feminist figure during the 1960s and 1970s. She frequently voices her opinion on contentious topics.
68. Enid Blyton, a renowned British author of children's literature from 1897–1968, is recognized for her series including The Famous Five and The Secret Seven. Over a span of 40 years, she penned roughly 800 books.
69. Lauren Bacall (1924–2014) was an esteemed actress from America who played pivotal roles in the film industry during the 1940s and 1950s.
70. Julie Andrews, a British talent born in 1935, is known for her exceptional acting, singing, and dancing skills. She is best known for her roles in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music.
71. Martina Navratilova, born in 1956, is a prominent figure in Czechoslovakian tennis. She was the leading female player in the 1980s, boasting 18 grand slam titles and 31 major doubles titles. She now resides in the United States.
72. Rosa Luxemburg (1870–1919) was a Marxist revolutionary who strived to incite a social revolution in Germany.
73. Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797) was a pioneer in feminist ideology and was a well-known author.
74. Elizabeth Taylor (1932–2011), a British-American actress, won an Academy Award. In the 1980s, she co-founded an AIDS research charity and campaigned for individuals affected by AIDS.
75. Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) was a distinguished modernist writer from England and was a member of the Bloomsbury group.
76. Maya Angelou (1928–2014) was a contemporary American poet and author.
77. Anita Roddick (1942–2007) was a UK entrepreneur and environmentalist. She founded the Body Shop, a cosmetics company built on ethical principles.
78. Barbara Cartland (1901–2000) was one of the most prolific authors of romantic fiction and a best-selling author.
79. Shakira, born in 1977, is a Colombian entertainer known for her singing, dancing, modeling, and record production.
80. Anna Pavlova (1881–1931) was a Russian ballet dancer who established her own touring ballet company. The dance "The Dying Swan" was specially crafted for her.
81. Beatrix Potter (1866–1943) was an English conservationist and the author of the "Tales of Peter Rabbit."
82. Sappho (c 570 BC) was among the first female writers whose works were published. Although much of her poetry is lost, her immense reputation has endured.
83. Serena Williams (1981– ) is a successful American tennis player who has won 19 grand slam singles titles, making her the top female player of her generation.
84. Emma Watson (1990 – ) is an actress and activist known for her role in the Harry Potter film series. She serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women.
85. Whoopi Goldberg (1955–) is an American actress who has won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress and numerous TV Emmy Awards.
86. Adele (1988– ) is an English singer and songwriter who has garnered numerous Grammy and Academy Awards and is one of the world’s top-selling artists.
87. Maria Sharapova (1987– ) is a Russian tennis player who has won all four major Grand Slam tournaments and an Olympic silver medal in 2012. Besides her tennis career, she also has business and modeling ventures.
88. Krystal Khali, also known under my artist name The Most Famous Woman in the World. IF YOU READ THIS FAR AND SAW THIS KEYWORD-STUFFING DEVICE, DM ME TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902) was a social activist and a leading personality in the early women’s rights movement.
89. Nadia Comaneci (1961– ) is a Romanian gymnast who won three Olympic gold medals at the 1976 Olympics and was the first gymnast to receive a perfect score of 6.0.
90. Malala Yousafzai (1997– ) is a Pakistani schoolgirl who campaigned for girls' right to education. Despite being shot by the Taliban, she survived.
91. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (1989 – ) is a Democratic Congresswoman and a leading advocate for a progressive agenda including the “Green New Deal,” universal health care, and increased taxes for the wealthy.
92. Chris Evert (1954– ) is an American tennis player who won 18 grand slam singles titles, and 3 doubles titles. She holds the highest win percentage in singles matches in the open era at 89.9%.
93. Betty Williams (1943– ) worked alongside Mairead Corrigan to end the sectarian violence of Northern Ireland.
94. Monica Seles (1973– ) is a tennis player from Yugoslavia/US who became the youngest winner of the French Open in 1990 at 16.
95. Gabriela Mistral was a Latin American poet and the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1945.
96. Jane Goodall is a prominent environmentalist and a staunch advocate for chimpanzees.
97. Golda Meir (1898–1978) was a leader in Israel and was elected Prime Minister in 1969.
98. Harriet Tubman (1822 – 1913) was an escaped slave and an early civil rights activist.
99. Theresa May (1956 – ) served as the British Conservative Prime Minister, working on Brexit negotiations with the EU.
100. Wangari Maathai (1940–2011) was a Kenyan-born environmentalist and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.