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

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.

Rosalyn S. Yalow

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1921 - 2011
Born In: New York
Achievements: Science

First American woman trained in the U.S. to win the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Known for pioneering the use of radioisotopes to analyze physiological systems, Yalow made possible very detailed analysis of blood chemistry, saving lives and allowing for proper doses of medication.

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.

Rosalyn S. Yalow

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1921 - 2011
Born In: New York
Achievements: Science

First American woman trained in the U.S. to win the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Known for pioneering the use of radioisotopes to analyze physiological systems, Yalow made possible very detailed analysis of blood chemistry, saving lives and allowing for proper doses of medication.

Gloria Yerkovich

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1942 -
Born In: Unknown
Achievements: Humanities

Founder of CHILDFIND, a nationwide organization which helps locate missing children. Yerkovich developed the program after her own daughter was abducted. Her concept was the prototype for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias

Year Honored: 1976
Birth: 1911 - 1956
Born In: Texas
Achievements: Athletics

One of the century’s premier athletes. Zaharias won track and field gold medals at the 1932 Olympics. She later became a golf champion and founded the Ladies Professional Golf Association. Zaharias inspired generations of women to develop athletic skills.

Gloria Yerkovich

Year Honored: 1993
Birth: 1942 -
Born In: Unknown
Achievements: Humanities

Founder of CHILDFIND, a nationwide organization which helps locate missing children. Yerkovich developed the program after her own daughter was abducted. Her concept was the prototype for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias

Year Honored: 1976
Birth: 1911 - 1956
Born In: Texas
Achievements: Athletics

One of the century’s premier athletes. Zaharias won track and field gold medals at the 1932 Olympics. She later became a golf champion and founded the Ladies Professional Golf Association. Zaharias inspired generations of women to develop athletic skills.

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