Female Heroes, We Salute You

We women do some incredible things. We bear children, we nurture life, and we work hard at every task we undertake. And over the years, women have changed our world. We deserve to be honored for that, so in honor of our 125th anniversary, we at Good Housekeeping have chosen 125 women who have changed out world. Some made music, some made noise, all made a difference. While some are obvious choices and some obscure, all acted to increase our liberty, safety, and prosperity. We honor these matron saints whose work continues to bring pleasure, save lives, and widen the scope of little girls' dreams. Here are just a few of the women on our long list.

Eleanor Roosevelt
FDR's helpmate, national reassurer during WW II, friend to working women and the downtrodden, battler against injustice, she overcame intense shyness to become a supremely public person.

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Nancy Drew
We envy everything about the cool, competent, curious sleuth - especially her snappy roadster. Let former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder say it: "I needed Nancy Drew. She was smart and she didn't have to hide it! She showed me there was another way to live."

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Babe Didrikson Zaharias
This Olympic track and field champ and golf whiz (36 LPGA titles) made it OK for women to let the world see how much they wanted to win. Another athlete as astonishing as she, Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1962- ), battled asthma to become an Olympic champ and holder of the women's heptathlon world record.

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Toni Morrison
The first African American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature; winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Her enthralling books illuminate the mysteries of the human heart and unflinchingly take on the toughest issues.

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Caresse Crosby

Inventor of the first modern bra, patented 1914. Her real name was Mary Phelps Jacob, and she was also a publisher.

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Julia Child
Because she made it fun to get back into the kitchen, because she taught us not to fear French food, and because she reminded us that the homeliest activity can be high art if approached in the right spirit, we raise a glass of cooking sherry in her honor.

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Meet the other amazing ladies on our list

Who is your favorite female hero? Is there someone else who should have made the list?

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.