LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English

Women's Day: Top 100 coolest women of all time

India | Rituparna Chatterjee and Ruchira Singh | March 8, 2011, 2:44 pm
X
1/ 101
 Famous English traveler, administrator in Arabia, and a writer of renown.

Famous English traveler, administrator in Arabia, and a writer of renown.

X
2/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787708"] The greatest French actress of the later 19th century. [/caption]

X
3/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787709"] Myanmar opposition leader and winner in 1991 of the Nobel Prize for Peace. [/caption]

X
4/ 101
 The first women to own her own talk show.

The first women to own her own talk show.

X
5/ 101
 Iconic comedy star of American television, best remembered for her classic television comedy series 'I Love Lucy'.

Iconic comedy star of American television, best remembered for her classic television comedy series 'I Love Lucy'.

X
6/ 101
 She served as US ambassador to the United Nations (1993–97) and was the first woman to hold the cabinet post of US secretary of state (1997–2001).

She served as US ambassador to the United Nations (1993–97) and was the first woman to hold the cabinet post of US secretary of state (1997–2001).

X
7/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787713"] Conductor, organist, and one of the most influential teachers of musical composition of the 20th century. [/caption]

X
8/ 101
 English novelist, noted for writing narratives of contemporary women in conflict with her natural desires and social condition.

English novelist, noted for writing narratives of contemporary women in conflict with her natural desires and social condition.

X
9/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787715"] French fashion designer whose elegantly casual designs took over the complicated and uncomfortable petticoats and corsets. Designer of the "little black dress." [/caption]

X
10/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787716"] American politician, the first African American woman to be elected to the US Congress. [/caption]

X
11/ 101
 First female prime minister of India. She was in power from between 1966-77 and 1980-84.

First female prime minister of India. She was in power from between 1966-77 and 1980-84.

X
12/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787718"] Polish-born French physicist, famous for her work on radioactivity and winner of the Nobel Prize. [/caption]

X
13/ 101
 She devoted her life to the service of the poor and dispossessed.

She devoted her life to the service of the poor and dispossessed.

X
14/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787720"] Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland since 1952. [/caption]

X
15/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787721"] She was the first woman to pilot and, later, to command a US space shuttle. [/caption]

X
16/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787722"] A volatile American actress, whose unbridled intensity kept her at the top of her profession for 50 years. [/caption]

X
17/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787723"] First woman to swim the English Channel. [/caption]

X
18/ 101
 International anarchist who conducted leftist activities in the United States from about 1890 to 1917.

International anarchist who conducted leftist activities in the United States from about 1890 to 1917.

X
19/ 101
 Indian political leader and diplomat, one of the world's leading women in public life in the 20th century.

Indian political leader and diplomat, one of the world's leading women in public life in the 20th century.

X
20/ 101
 One of the most glamorous and popular motion-picture stars of the 1920s and '30s who is best known for her portrayals of strong-willed heroines.

One of the most glamorous and popular motion-picture stars of the 1920s and '30s who is best known for her portrayals of strong-willed heroines.

X
21/ 101
 Australian swimmer, the first woman swimmer to win gold medals in three consecutive Olympic Games (1956, 1960, 1964).

Australian swimmer, the first woman swimmer to win gold medals in three consecutive Olympic Games (1956, 1960, 1964).

X
22/ 101
 She was the first female prime minister of a Muslim country.

She was the first female prime minister of a Muslim country.

X
23/ 101
 For becoming one of the most iconic film legends of all time.

For becoming one of the most iconic film legends of all time.

X
24/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787730"] Kenyan politician and environmental activist who was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize for Peace. She was the first black African woman to win a Nobel Prize. [/caption]

X
25/ 101
 For being the first woman to be elected as the Chief Minister of an Indian state.

For being the first woman to be elected as the Chief Minister of an Indian state.

X
26/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787732"] For being the commander of the Indian National Army's Rani of Jhansi Regiment and showing that Indian women can also lead from the front in the battlefield. [/caption]

X
27/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787733"] American football (soccer) player, who became the first international star of the women's game. [/caption]

X
28/ 101
 The author of the phenomenal best selling Harry Potter series.

The author of the phenomenal best selling Harry Potter series.

X
29/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787735"] South African novelist who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. [/caption]

X
30/ 101
 The most successful female musician of all time.

The most successful female musician of all time.

X
31/ 101
 For her resilience in testing times. Anne Frank's Diary is one of the most widely read books in the world.

For her resilience in testing times. Anne Frank's Diary is one of the most widely read books in the world.

X
32/ 101
 The first female Prime minister of Great Britain.

The first female Prime minister of Great Britain.

X
33/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787739"] For leading from the front for social causes and her relentless struggle for the rights of the people displaced by dams. [/caption]

X
34/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787740"] For being the first Indian woman IPS officer and her continious committment towards social causes. [/caption]

X
35/ 101
 She combined the appeal of a Royal princess with her humanitarian charity work. Best loved royal figure till date.

She combined the appeal of a Royal princess with her humanitarian charity work. Best loved royal figure till date.

X
36/ 101
 For going where no Indian woman had gone before, to the top of the Mount Everest.

For going where no Indian woman had gone before, to the top of the Mount Everest.

X
37/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787743"] Hindu mystic and poet whose lyrical songs of devotion to the god Krishna are widely popular in India. [/caption]

X
38/ 101
 National heroine of France, a peasant girl who led the French army in a momentous victory at Orleans that repulsed an English attempt to conquer France during the Hundred Years' War.

National heroine of France, a peasant girl who led the French army in a momentous victory at Orleans that repulsed an English attempt to conquer France during the Hundred Years' War.

X
39/ 101
 Dancer and courtesan whose name has become a synonym for the seductive female spy.

Dancer and courtesan whose name has become a synonym for the seductive female spy.

X
40/ 101
 Foundational philosopher of modern nursing, statistician, and social reformer.

Foundational philosopher of modern nursing, statistician, and social reformer.

X
41/ 101
 For being one of the stalwarts of India's freedom movement and being the first woman president of the Indian National Congress and Governor of Uttar Pradesh. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

For being one of the stalwarts of India's freedom movement and being the first woman president of the Indian National Congress and Governor of Uttar Pradesh. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

X
42/ 101
 Soviet cosmonaut, the first woman to travel into space.

Soviet cosmonaut, the first woman to travel into space.

X
43/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787749"] A legal luminary and the first female judge of the Supreme Court of India. [/caption]

X
44/ 101
 American author and educator who was blind and deaf.

American author and educator who was blind and deaf.

X
45/ 101
 Mexican painter noted for her intense, brilliantly coloured self-portraits.

Mexican painter noted for her intense, brilliantly coloured self-portraits.

X
46/ 101
 Italian educator and originator of the educational system that bears her name. The Montessori system is based on belief in the child's creative potential, his drive to learn, and his right to be treated as an individual.

Italian educator and originator of the educational system that bears her name. The Montessori system is based on belief in the child's creative potential, his drive to learn, and his right to be treated as an individual.

X
47/ 101
 American writer noted for her examination of the experience within the black community. She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.

American writer noted for her examination of the experience within the black community. She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.

X
48/ 101
 Influential English writer whose novels, through their approaches to narrative, exerted a major influence on the genre.

Influential English writer whose novels, through their approaches to narrative, exerted a major influence on the genre.

X
49/ 101
 African American civil rights activist whose refusal to relinquish her seat on a public bus to a white man started the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama, the precursor to the US civil rights movement.

African American civil rights activist whose refusal to relinquish her seat on a public bus to a white man started the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama, the precursor to the US civil rights movement.

X
50/ 101
 British scientist who contributed to the discovery of the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

British scientist who contributed to the discovery of the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

X
51/ 101
 The world's first woman prime minister. She left office in 1965 but returned to serve two more terms (1970–77, 1994–2000) as prime minister of Sri Lanka.

The world's first woman prime minister. She left office in 1965 but returned to serve two more terms (1970–77, 1994–2000) as prime minister of Sri Lanka.

X
52/ 101
 Italian fashion designer and founder of the Versace clothing brand.

Italian fashion designer and founder of the Versace clothing brand.

X
53/ 101
 American cooking expert, author, and television personality noted for her promotion of traditional French cuisine.

American cooking expert, author, and television personality noted for her promotion of traditional French cuisine.

X
54/ 101
 Russian-American novelist known for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism.

Russian-American novelist known for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism.

X
55/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787761"] The 'First Lady' of Indian cinema and pioneer in making cinema a socially acceptable career for Indian women. [/caption]

X
56/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787762"] The first woman Air Vice Marshall of the Indian Air Force. [/caption]

X
57/ 101
 The first Indian woman to be promoted as a three-star general in the Indian Army and then also became the Indian Navy's first female vice-admiral.

The first Indian woman to be promoted as a three-star general in the Indian Army and then also became the Indian Navy's first female vice-admiral.

X
58/ 101
 Outstanding French writer of the first half of the 20th century, whose best novels, are remarkable for their command of sensual description.

Outstanding French writer of the first half of the 20th century, whose best novels, are remarkable for their command of sensual description.

X
59/ 101
 Iranian lawyer, writer, and teacher, who received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2003 for her efforts to promote democracy and human rights in Iran.

Iranian lawyer, writer, and teacher, who received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2003 for her efforts to promote democracy and human rights in Iran.

X
60/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787766"] American aviator, and the first woman to fly alone over the Atlantic Ocean. [/caption]

X
61/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787767"] A pioneer in Indian art who cleared the path for generations of woman artists to follow. [/caption]

X
62/ 101
 One of the doyennes of Indian literature.

One of the doyennes of Indian literature.

X
63/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787769"] The first Indian woman photojournalist. [/caption]

X
64/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787770"] The first Indian woman IAS officer. [/caption]

X
65/ 101
 For being the first Indian woman to win a major international beauty pageant. (Photo by Wesley/Keystone/Getty Images)

For being the first Indian woman to win a major international beauty pageant. (Photo by Wesley/Keystone/Getty Images)

X
66/ 101
 Bulgarian-born French psychoanalyst and educator, best known for her writings on philosophical feminism.

Bulgarian-born French psychoanalyst and educator, best known for her writings on philosophical feminism.

X
67/ 101
 South African social worker and activist considered by many black South Africans to be the 'Mother of the Nation.'

South African social worker and activist considered by many black South Africans to be the 'Mother of the Nation.'

X
68/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787774"] British ethologist, known for her exceptionally detailed and long-term research on the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. [/caption]

X
69/ 101
 The first and only reigning Hawaiian queen and the last Hawaiian sovereign to govern the islands.

The first and only reigning Hawaiian queen and the last Hawaiian sovereign to govern the islands.

X
70/ 101
 English author of children's books, who created Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, and other animal characters.

English author of children's books, who created Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, and other animal characters.

X
71/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787777"] The first woman president of the world's largest democracy. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) [/caption]

X
72/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787778"] The first Indian woman to fly a plane, back in 1936. [/caption]

X
73/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787779"] She dedicated her life for the betterment of Indian women. [/caption]

X
74/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787780"] She is the golden voice of India. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) [/caption]

X
75/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787781"] The first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal. [/caption]

X
76/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787782"] One of the most respected costume designers in Indian cinema and the first Indian to win an Oscar. [/caption]

X
77/ 101
 American pop singer-songwriter and iconic fashionista known for dressing bizzarely.

American pop singer-songwriter and iconic fashionista known for dressing bizzarely.

X
78/ 101
 Third wife of Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong and the most influential woman in the People's Republic of China for a while until her downfall in 1976, after Mao's death.

Third wife of Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong and the most influential woman in the People's Republic of China for a while until her downfall in 1976, after Mao's death.

X
79/ 101
 French tennis player and six-time Wimbledon champion in both singles and doubles competition. She changed the nature of women's tennis and positioned her as the dominant women's amateur player from 1919 until 1926, when she turned professional.

French tennis player and six-time Wimbledon champion in both singles and doubles competition. She changed the nature of women's tennis and positioned her as the dominant women's amateur player from 1919 until 1926, when she turned professional.

X
80/ 101
 English mathematician, an associate of Charles Babbage, for whose prototype of a digital computer she created a program. She has been called the first computer programmer.

English mathematician, an associate of Charles Babbage, for whose prototype of a digital computer she created a program. She has been called the first computer programmer.

X
81/ 101
 American lyric poet who lived in seclusion and commanded a singular brilliance of style and integrity of vision.

American lyric poet who lived in seclusion and commanded a singular brilliance of style and integrity of vision.

X
82/ 101
 American physician, anesthesiologist, and medical researcher who developed the Apgar Score System, a method of evaluating an infant shortly after birth to assess its well-being and to determine if any immediate medical intervention is required.

American physician, anesthesiologist, and medical researcher who developed the Apgar Score System, a method of evaluating an infant shortly after birth to assess its well-being and to determine if any immediate medical intervention is required.

X
83/ 101
 Hungarian-born American chess player who won the women's world championship in 1996 from Xie Jun of China.

Hungarian-born American chess player who won the women's world championship in 1996 from Xie Jun of China.

X
84/ 101
 German mathematician whose innovations in higher algebra gained her recognition as the most creative abstract algebraist of modern times.

German mathematician whose innovations in higher algebra gained her recognition as the most creative abstract algebraist of modern times.

X
85/ 101
 American first lady, the wife of Barack Obama, 44th president of the United States. She is the first African American first lady.

American first lady, the wife of Barack Obama, 44th president of the United States. She is the first African American first lady.

X
86/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787792"] American politician who became the first woman elected to the US Senate. [/caption]

X
87/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787793"] English Romantic novelist best known as the author of 'Frankenstein.' [/caption]

X
88/ 101
 American singer and one of the greatest of blues vocalists.

American singer and one of the greatest of blues vocalists.

X
89/ 101
 Polish poet whose intelligent and empathic explorations of philosophical, moral, and ethical issues won her the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996.

Polish poet whose intelligent and empathic explorations of philosophical, moral, and ethical issues won her the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996.

X
90/ 101
 American sportswoman, one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century.

American sportswoman, one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century.

X
91/ 101
 Unconventional American reformer, who at various times championed such diverse causes as woman suffrage, free love, mystical socialism, and the Greenback movement.

Unconventional American reformer, who at various times championed such diverse causes as woman suffrage, free love, mystical socialism, and the Greenback movement.

X
92/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787798"] Russian ballerina, the most celebrated dancer of her time. [/caption]

X
93/ 101
 American dancer whose teaching and performances helped free ballet from its conservative restrictions and presaged the development of modern expressive dance.

American dancer whose teaching and performances helped free ballet from its conservative restrictions and presaged the development of modern expressive dance.

X
94/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787800"] Newspaper publisher and politician who served as president of Nicaragua from 1990 to 1997. [/caption]

X
95/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787801"] American athlete, considered by many to be the greatest female athlete ever. [/caption]

X
96/ 101
 French physical chemist, who along with her husband jointly won the 1935 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their discovery of new radioactive isotopes prepared artificially.

French physical chemist, who along with her husband jointly won the 1935 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their discovery of new radioactive isotopes prepared artificially.

X
97/ 101
 American first lady (1961–63), the wife of John F Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, who was noted for her style and elegance.

American first lady (1961–63), the wife of John F Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, who was noted for her style and elegance.

X
98/ 101
 Greek actress and political activist who was the minister of culture in her country's first socialist government (1981).

Greek actress and political activist who was the minister of culture in her country's first socialist government (1981).

X
99/ 101
[caption id=

[caption id="attachment_787805"] Chilean poet, who in 1945 became the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. [/caption]

X
100/ 101
 They changed the way the world looked at women. They flew planes, swam across the English Channel, decoded the DNA, enthralled cinemagoers and commanded respect in every field traditionally dominated by men. On the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, here's our top 100 coolest women of all time. The names are in no particular order. By: Ruchira Singh, Rituparna Chatterjee and Soumyadip Choudhury.

They changed the way the world looked at women. They flew planes, swam across the English Channel, decoded the DNA, enthralled cinemagoers and commanded respect in every field traditionally dominated by men. On the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, here's our top 100 coolest women of all time. The names are in no particular order. By: Ruchira Singh, Rituparna Chatterjee and Soumyadip Choudhury.

X
101/ 101
 She was the first woman to serve on the US Supreme Court.

She was the first woman to serve on the US Supreme Court.

Top Galleries

Countdown To Elections Results
  • 01 d
  • 12 h
  • 38 m
  • 09 s
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results