Discover the Women of the Hall

These are the Inductees of the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Select any of the women to discover their stories and learn how they have influenced other women and this country.

Achievements Year Born Where Born Year Inducted Last Name
Year Born: to
Birth State or Country: or
Year Inducted: to
First Letter of Last Name: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Florence Wald

Year Honored: 1998
Birth: 1916 - 2008
Born In: New York
Achievements: Science

Former dean of the Yale School of Nursing and founder of the Hospice movement in America, for which she was awarded the honorary Doctorate of Medical Sciences by Yale University in 1995. As a nurse, she went to Europe to study Hospice from the ground up.

Lillian Wald

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1867 - 1940
Born In: Ohio
Achievements: Science

Nurse who organized the public health nursing service and the Henry Street Settlement in New York City to meet the needs of the urban poor. Wald created public health nursing services for many groups, and established the Public Health Nurses, known today as Visiting Nurse Service.

Madam C. J. Walker

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1867 - 1919
Born In: Louisiana
Achievements: Business

Sara Breedlove, a Black entrepreneur considered the first African American woman to become a millionaire. She did this by devising a hair care and grooming system for African Americans and pioneered a door-to-door sales approach. The daughter of former slaves, Walker became an advocate for positive social change as well as a philanthropist.

Mary Edwards Walker

Year Honored: 2000
Birth: 1832 - 1919
Born In: New York
Achievements: Philanthropy, Science

First female surgeon in the U.S. Army, she continually crossed the Confederate lines to treat civilians. After being taken prisoner in 1864 and imprisoned in Richmond, she was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the first woman to receive this award. In 1917, her medal, along with 910 others, was taken away when Congress revised the standards to include only “actual combat with the enemy.” She refused to return the medal, wore it until her death, and it was finally awarded to her posthumously.

Emily Howell Warner

Year Honored: 2001
Birth: 1939 - 2020
Born In: Colorado
Achievements: Science

In 1973, Emily Warner became the first American female commercial airline pilot when Frontier Airlines broke the barrier against hiring women pilots. She later became the nation’s first woman airline captain, also at Frontier Airlines.

Mercy Otis Warren

Year Honored: 2002
Birth: 1728 - 1814
Born In: Massachusetts
Achievements: Arts

Poet, dramatist, satirist and historian Mercy Otis Warren was widely known for using her pen to share her strong political views. She advocated for national independence and opposition to royal tyranny through works such as The Adulateur and The Group.

Florence Wald

Year Honored: 1998
Birth: 1916 - 2008
Born In: New York
Achievements: Science

Former dean of the Yale School of Nursing and founder of the Hospice movement in America, for which she was awarded the honorary Doctorate of Medical Sciences by Yale University in 1995. As a nurse, she went to Europe to study Hospice from the ground up.

Lillian Wald

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1867 - 1940
Born In: Ohio
Achievements: Science

Nurse who organized the public health nursing service and the Henry Street Settlement in New York City to meet the needs of the urban poor. Wald created public health nursing services for many groups, and established the Public Health Nurses, known today as Visiting Nurse Service.

Madam C. J. Walker

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1867 - 1919
Born In: Louisiana
Achievements: Business

Sara Breedlove, a Black entrepreneur considered the first African American woman to become a millionaire. She did this by devising a hair care and grooming system for African Americans and pioneered a door-to-door sales approach. The daughter of former slaves, Walker became an advocate for positive social change as well as a philanthropist.

Mary Edwards Walker

Year Honored: 2000
Birth: 1832 - 1919
Born In: New York
Achievements: Philanthropy, Science

First female surgeon in the U.S. Army, she continually crossed the Confederate lines to treat civilians. After being taken prisoner in 1864 and imprisoned in Richmond, she was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the first woman to receive this award. In 1917, her medal, along with 910 others, was taken away when Congress revised the standards to include only “actual combat with the enemy.” She refused to return the medal, wore it until her death, and it was finally awarded to her posthumously.

Emily Howell Warner

Year Honored: 2001
Birth: 1939 - 2020
Born In: Colorado
Achievements: Science

In 1973, Emily Warner became the first American female commercial airline pilot when Frontier Airlines broke the barrier against hiring women pilots. She later became the nation’s first woman airline captain, also at Frontier Airlines.

Mercy Otis Warren

Year Honored: 2002
Birth: 1728 - 1814
Born In: Massachusetts
Achievements: Arts

Poet, dramatist, satirist and historian Mercy Otis Warren was widely known for using her pen to share her strong political views. She advocated for national independence and opposition to royal tyranny through works such as The Adulateur and The Group.

Alice Waters

Year Honored: 2017
Birth: 1944 -
Born In: New Jersey
Achievements: Business, Education, Humanities, Philanthropy

A chef, author and food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. She has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades, and is credited with popularizing the organic food movement.

Faye Wattleton

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1943 -
Born In: Missouri
Achievements: Humanities

Nurse who was the first woman since founder Margaret Sanger, and first African American to become president of the Planned Parenthood Foundation. Wattleton developed Planned Parenthood into an influential nationwide organization.

Annie Dodge Wauneka

Year Honored: 2000
Birth: 1910 - 1997
Born In: Arizona
Achievements: Science

First woman elected to the Tribal Council, she became determined to lead the fight against tuberculosis among the Navajo. She wrote a dictionary to translate English words for modern medical techniques into Navajo, and hosted a radio broadcast in the Navajo language to explain how modern medicine could help in better care for pregnant women and new babies and other family health problems.

Angelina Grimké Weld

Year Honored: 1998
Birth: 1805 - 1879
Born In: South Carolina
Achievements: Humanities

Along with Sarah Grimké, wrote numerous published papers which championed abolition and women’s rights. The Grimké sisters were southerners who became the first female speakers for the American Anti-Slavery Society. Sarah’s Letters on the Equality of the Sexes exposed the plight of factory women in New England, as well as arguing on behalf of women’s rights and abolition. Through their examples and their words, the Grimkés proved that women could affect the course of political events and have a far-reaching influence on society.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Year Honored: 1988
Birth: 1862 - 1931
Born In: Mississippi
Achievements: Arts, Humanities

African American leader, anti-lynching crusader, journalist, lecturer and community organizer who fought social injustice all her life. Wells-Barnett sued a railroad over segregated seating, criticized segregated education and became editor and part owner of a newspaper. The horrors of lynching inspired her to lead a major effort to abolish the atrocity.

Eudora Welty

Year Honored: 2000
Birth: 1909 - 2001
Born In: Mississippi
Achievements: Arts

One of the most significant writers of the 20th century, Eudora Welty won many notable literary prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Optimist’s Daughter. Her work is marked by what critic Jonathan Yardley called an “abiding tolerance…a refusal to pass judgment on the actors in the human comedy,” and it transcends generations and national boundaries. In 1998, the Library of America recognized her literary accomplishments by honoring her as the first living author published in the prestigious Library of America series.

Alice Waters

Year Honored: 2017
Birth: 1944 -
Born In: New Jersey
Achievements: Business, Education, Humanities, Philanthropy

A chef, author and food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. She has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades, and is credited with popularizing the organic food movement.

Faye Wattleton

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1943 -
Born In: Missouri
Achievements: Humanities

Nurse who was the first woman since founder Margaret Sanger, and first African American to become president of the Planned Parenthood Foundation. Wattleton developed Planned Parenthood into an influential nationwide organization.

Annie Dodge Wauneka

Year Honored: 2000
Birth: 1910 - 1997
Born In: Arizona
Achievements: Science

First woman elected to the Tribal Council, she became determined to lead the fight against tuberculosis among the Navajo. She wrote a dictionary to translate English words for modern medical techniques into Navajo, and hosted a radio broadcast in the Navajo language to explain how modern medicine could help in better care for pregnant women and new babies and other family health problems.

Angelina Grimké Weld

Year Honored: 1998
Birth: 1805 - 1879
Born In: South Carolina
Achievements: Humanities

Along with Sarah Grimké, wrote numerous published papers which championed abolition and women’s rights. The Grimké sisters were southerners who became the first female speakers for the American Anti-Slavery Society. Sarah’s Letters on the Equality of the Sexes exposed the plight of factory women in New England, as well as arguing on behalf of women’s rights and abolition. Through their examples and their words, the Grimkés proved that women could affect the course of political events and have a far-reaching influence on society.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Year Honored: 1988
Birth: 1862 - 1931
Born In: Mississippi
Achievements: Arts, Humanities

African American leader, anti-lynching crusader, journalist, lecturer and community organizer who fought social injustice all her life. Wells-Barnett sued a railroad over segregated seating, criticized segregated education and became editor and part owner of a newspaper. The horrors of lynching inspired her to lead a major effort to abolish the atrocity.

Eudora Welty

Year Honored: 2000
Birth: 1909 - 2001
Born In: Mississippi
Achievements: Arts

One of the most significant writers of the 20th century, Eudora Welty won many notable literary prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Optimist’s Daughter. Her work is marked by what critic Jonathan Yardley called an “abiding tolerance…a refusal to pass judgment on the actors in the human comedy,” and it transcends generations and national boundaries. In 1998, the Library of America recognized her literary accomplishments by honoring her as the first living author published in the prestigious Library of America series.

Edith Wharton

Year Honored: 1996
Birth: 1862 - 1937
Born In: New York
Achievements: Arts

American novelist and short story writer of the 20th century. The first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for fiction (for The Age of Innocence, 1929), Wharton was a prolific writer who averaged more than a book a year after the age of 40 until her death.

Sheila E. Widnall

Year Honored: 2003
Birth: 1938 -
Born In: Washington
Achievements: Education, Government, Science

Appointed Secretary of the Air Force in 1993 by President Clinton, Widnall became the first woman to hold the position. A world-renowned scientist, she holds three patents in airflow technology. As a current member of MIT faculty, she is internationally known for her work in fluid dynamics, specifically in the areas of aircraft turbulence and the spiraling air flows called vortices created by helicopters.

Emma Hart Willard

Year Honored: 2013
Birth: 1787 - 1870
Born In: Connecticut
Achievements: Education

During her lifetime, Emma Hart Willard blazed an extraordinary trail on behalf of women’s education. A teacher by trade, Willard opened a girls’ school in her home in 1814 and was struck by the contrast between the education she could offer her women students and the education provided to men at nearby Middlebury College. She crafted A Plan for Improving Female Education, a document in which she advocated equal education for women at the academy level. In 1819, at the encouragement of Governor DeWitt Clinton, Willard opened a school in Waterford, New York which closed shortly afterward due to a lack of funding. Two years later, she founded Troy Female Seminary in Troy, New York (1821), the first school of higher learning for women. The seminary was renamed the Emma Willard School in her honor in 1895.

Frances E. Willard

Year Honored: 2000
Birth: 1839 - 1898
Born In: New York
Achievements: Humanities

As second president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), she led the largest organization of women in the United States. The WCTU provided a base for the 20th century women’s rights movement, supporting, in addition to women’s suffrage, broad social reforms such as equal pay for equal work, the eight hour day, and the protection of women and children in the workplace.

Oprah Winfrey

Year Honored: 1994
Birth: 1954 -
Born In: Mississippi
Achievements: Arts, Business, Philanthropy

The first Black woman to own her own television production company and who became television’s highest-paid entertainer. She is an advocate for ending child abuse, and she contributes generously to colleges and universities.

Sarah Winnemucca

Year Honored: 1994
Birth: c.1844 - 1891
Born In: Nevada
Achievements: Humanities

Paiute leader who dedicated her life to returning land stolen by the government back to the tribes, especially the land of her own Paiute Tribe.

Edith Wharton

Year Honored: 1996
Birth: 1862 - 1937
Born In: New York
Achievements: Arts

American novelist and short story writer of the 20th century. The first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for fiction (for The Age of Innocence, 1929), Wharton was a prolific writer who averaged more than a book a year after the age of 40 until her death.

Sheila E. Widnall

Year Honored: 2003
Birth: 1938 -
Born In: Washington
Achievements: Education, Government, Science

Appointed Secretary of the Air Force in 1993 by President Clinton, Widnall became the first woman to hold the position. A world-renowned scientist, she holds three patents in airflow technology. As a current member of MIT faculty, she is internationally known for her work in fluid dynamics, specifically in the areas of aircraft turbulence and the spiraling air flows called vortices created by helicopters.

Emma Hart Willard

Year Honored: 2013
Birth: 1787 - 1870
Born In: Connecticut
Achievements: Education

During her lifetime, Emma Hart Willard blazed an extraordinary trail on behalf of women’s education. A teacher by trade, Willard opened a girls’ school in her home in 1814 and was struck by the contrast between the education she could offer her women students and the education provided to men at nearby Middlebury College. She crafted A Plan for Improving Female Education, a document in which she advocated equal education for women at the academy level. In 1819, at the encouragement of Governor DeWitt Clinton, Willard opened a school in Waterford, New York which closed shortly afterward due to a lack of funding. Two years later, she founded Troy Female Seminary in Troy, New York (1821), the first school of higher learning for women. The seminary was renamed the Emma Willard School in her honor in 1895.

Frances E. Willard

Year Honored: 2000
Birth: 1839 - 1898
Born In: New York
Achievements: Humanities

As second president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), she led the largest organization of women in the United States. The WCTU provided a base for the 20th century women’s rights movement, supporting, in addition to women’s suffrage, broad social reforms such as equal pay for equal work, the eight hour day, and the protection of women and children in the workplace.

Oprah Winfrey

Year Honored: 1994
Birth: 1954 -
Born In: Mississippi
Achievements: Arts, Business, Philanthropy

The first Black woman to own her own television production company and who became television’s highest-paid entertainer. She is an advocate for ending child abuse, and she contributes generously to colleges and universities.

Sarah Winnemucca

Year Honored: 1994
Birth: c.1844 - 1891
Born In: Nevada
Achievements: Humanities

Paiute leader who dedicated her life to returning land stolen by the government back to the tribes, especially the land of her own Paiute Tribe.

Flossie Wong-Staal

Year Honored: 2019
Birth: 1947 - 2020
Achievements: Science

A world-renowned virologist and molecular biologist, Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal and her team of scientists at the U.S. National Cancer Institute were the first to molecularly clone HIV and to elucidate the complex structure of its genome. This accomplishment was instrumental in proving HIV to be the cause of AIDS, and in the subsequent development of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for the disease.

Victoria Woodhull

Year Honored: 2001
Birth: 1838 - 1927
Born In: Ohio
Achievements: Humanities

A 19th century reformer, Victoria Woodhull established a reputation as a radical freethinking reformer. She was a suffragist, author, political activist, and the first woman to run for President of the United States (1872).

Fanny Wright

Year Honored: 1994
Birth: 1795 - 1852
Born In: Scotland
Achievements: Humanities

First American woman to speak out against slavery and for the equality of women. An inspiration to Stanton, Anthony and other women’s equality advocates, Wright wrote and spoke out publicly for equal rights for all at a time when women were not accepted in such roles.

Martha Coffin Pelham Wright

Year Honored: 2007
Birth: 1806 - 1875
Born In: Massachusetts
Achievements: Humanities

Martha Coffin Pelham Wright was one of five visionary women who organized the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848, forever changing the course of American history. She was also one of the few women who attended the 1833 founding meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society. An accomplished author, she wrote for local and national publications on anti-slavery and women’s rights issues. She was elected President of the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1874, serving until her death in 1875.

Chien-Shiung Wu

Year Honored: 1998
Birth: 1912 - 1997
Born In: China
Achievements: Science

Nuclear physicist whose pioneering work altered modern physical theory and changed the accepted view of the structure of the universe.

Flossie Wong-Staal

Year Honored: 2019
Birth: 1947 - 2020
Achievements: Science

A world-renowned virologist and molecular biologist, Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal and her team of scientists at the U.S. National Cancer Institute were the first to molecularly clone HIV and to elucidate the complex structure of its genome. This accomplishment was instrumental in proving HIV to be the cause of AIDS, and in the subsequent development of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for the disease.

Victoria Woodhull

Year Honored: 2001
Birth: 1838 - 1927
Born In: Ohio
Achievements: Humanities

A 19th century reformer, Victoria Woodhull established a reputation as a radical freethinking reformer. She was a suffragist, author, political activist, and the first woman to run for President of the United States (1872).

Fanny Wright

Year Honored: 1994
Birth: 1795 - 1852
Born In: Scotland
Achievements: Humanities

First American woman to speak out against slavery and for the equality of women. An inspiration to Stanton, Anthony and other women’s equality advocates, Wright wrote and spoke out publicly for equal rights for all at a time when women were not accepted in such roles.

Martha Coffin Pelham Wright

Year Honored: 2007
Birth: 1806 - 1875
Born In: Massachusetts
Achievements: Humanities

Martha Coffin Pelham Wright was one of five visionary women who organized the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848, forever changing the course of American history. She was also one of the few women who attended the 1833 founding meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society. An accomplished author, she wrote for local and national publications on anti-slavery and women’s rights issues. She was elected President of the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1874, serving until her death in 1875.

Chien-Shiung Wu

Year Honored: 1998
Birth: 1912 - 1997
Born In: China
Achievements: Science

Nuclear physicist whose pioneering work altered modern physical theory and changed the accepted view of the structure of the universe.