SEE ALSO: Venus & Serena Williams, Tina Fey, Cher, Brandi Chastain, Diana Vreeland, Gloria Steinem, Lady Gaga, Andrea Jung, Mary McLeod Bethune, Lucille Ball, Patsy Mink, Shirley Chisholm, Carrie Chapman Catt, Mary Pickford, Betty Friedan, Alice Paul, Margaret Sanger, Margaret Mead, Helen Keller, Zora Neale Hurston, Annie Glenn, Nancy Brinker, Clara Hale, Julia Child, Betty Ford, Cecile Richards
1916 – 2002
No doll has generated talk, enraged feminists and kick-started boys’ fantasies quite like Barbie. Ruth Handler, one of the cofounders of Mattel, Inc., was watching her young daughter, Barbara, play with paper cutout dolls of teenagers and career women and decided to create a three-dimensional doll.
The first Barbie, her daughter’s nickname, made her debut at the American Toy Fair in New York City in 1959. The nearly 12″ doll, with blue eyes, blonde ponytail and dressed in a black-and-white swimsuit, sold for $3 in its first year. Barbie’s large breasts and tiny waist (in an anatomically impossible ratio) generated a great deal of controversy over the years, but not enough to stop her from becoming perhaps the best-selling doll of all time.
Emily Dunning Barringer: Clara Barton: Alice Gertrude Bryant and Florence West Duckering: Elizabeth Blackwell: Mary Whiton Calkins: Mary Stuart Fisher: Justina Ford: Alice Hamilton: Grace Murray Hopper: Barbara McClintock: Maria Mitchell: Nettie Stevens: Lucy Hobbs Taylor: Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu: Dr. Tsai-Fan Yu: