Danielle Steel

This gal is a New York born, California based writer of primarily romance novels with almost 200 books penned. Having sold over 800 million books she continues to write at 72 years of age. Her books have been adapted for television and into 43 languages. She is the fourth best selling fiction writer of all time.

Steel was born into a privileged family with her father a German descendant of the Lowenbrau beer family and her mother from a Portuguese family of diplomats. They divorced and her father raised her. She rarely saw her mother, however her life was filled with elegance, rank and distinction afforded to the affluent.

As a young child she began writing poetry and short stories, however studied design in college. Later taking a job at Ladies Home Journal an editor encouraged her to continue to write and that she did with much acclaim.

“Sometimes, if you aren’t sure about something, you have to just jump off the bridge and grow wings on your way down.” -Danielle Steel

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader was born Joan Ruth Bader in Brooklyn, New York, in 1933. Her father was a furrier and her mother a garment factory worker who instilled the need for education in her daughter.

My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.

Ruth excelled in her studies throughout her school years and attended Cornell University, where she met her beloved husband, Martin Ginsburg. From Cornell she studied at Harvard Law being one of the nine females in the class of 500. She was the first female on the Harvard Law Review of this male dominated college.

Martin and Ruth in later years

Many challenges occurred during this time as her husband was diagnosed with cancer and she was caring for a newborn as well. Upon Martin’s recovery he accepted a job in New York City with Ruth following. She completed her last year of law school at Columbia University graduating first in her class in 1959.

Facing gender discrimination she was unable to obtain a law position upon graduation. She became a judge law clerk, with her following positions in faculty positions at Rutger’s and Columbia Law School. Later she became general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union arguing 6 cases before the Supreme Court.

Known for her slow, steady, and calculated approach she became known for her expertise in sex discrimination cases. President Jimmy Carter tapped her in 1980 for a position on the US Court of Appeals and later in 1992 President Bill Clinton appointed her as the second female to the US Supreme Court.

While 87 years young she continues to work tirelessly at her position. She has overcome several bouts of cancer and regularly works out.

A lover of opera she often attends with her children. In her years on the Supreme Court she has never missed a day even with the death of her husband, and her own chemotherapy appointments. Known as a force to be reckoned with her nickname is, “The Notorious RBG.”

Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt was an American impressionist painter who lived from 1844 to 1926. Born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania she attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Mary came from a family of privilege and wealth eventually moving to France where she spent the bulk of her life involved with other prominent impressionists of the era such as Edgar Degas.

Much of Ms. Cassatt’s work are portraits of mother and child.

In her paintings there are broad brush strokes with a complex portrayal of the subject.

She is one of only a few women who exhibited with the French impressionists during this time.

Her works are exhibited throughout the museums of the world.

Next Week: Nancy Pelosi

Louisa May Alcott

This Little Women author lived from 1832-1888. She was a prominent American novelist, poet, and short story author. While never formally educated she studied with Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

She is considered an American literary icon and beloved by her female readers. Her stories depict family life in the 19th century. She never married but helped in raising her siblings children. Active in the Suffrage Movement she was the first female to vote in Concord, Massachusetts.

The Alcott home in Concord is open to the public for tours.

Katherine Johnson (1918-2020)

This American mathematician gained well deserved notoriety through the film Hidden Figures. Born in West Virginia, Katherine had a fascination and curiosity with numbers. She attended college classes while in high school graduating from the State College of West Virginia in 1937 at 19 years of age with a Bachelors Degree in Math and French.

Upon graduation she taught school in Virginia. In 1939, she was offered and accepted a Masters Program to integrate West Virginia colleges, but left after the first semester to start a family. When her 3 daughters became older she returned to teaching.

Learning from a relative of positions in Virginia in the Langley computing area she moved her family to the area and obtained a temporary position. Her position quickly became permanent when her skills were recognized.

In 2015 Katherine G. Johnson receiving the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama

She worked in a myriad of situations and settings but perhaps her 1962 calculations of John Glenn’s space flight catapulted her career. Famously he requested, “Go get the girl,” when calculations were needed for his re-entry into Earth. Later she was credited in a scientific paper regarding the flight. This was the first time a female received credit in a scientific paper of this nature.

Katherine continued working for NASA for 33 years authoring and co-authoring over 26 research reports. In 2016, a new building on the NASA Hampton, Virginia campus was opened and named in her honor, The Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility.

Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Reid Conference Center. Honored guests include Katherine G. Johnson and members of her family, Mayor Donnie Tuck, Senator Warner and Governor McAuliffe. Margot Lee Shetterly, author of “Hidden Figures,”