Chicks that Kick

This graphic was designed to be inserted into Starbuck's Memory Tumbler "Create Your Own Tumbler". Which explains the odd shape. I gave these out at Christmas '03. If you would like a correct, full size, high res picture to make your own cup, download from the link below. You can buy the Tumblers at most Starbuck locations.

ChicksKick Graphic - 1.2mB


Who's Who

Click on the faces in the above graphic will take you to the bio below. Clicking on the links will take you to the reference website and/or another informative site - usually with more extensive bios than my summaries here.


Chicks from movies, TV and comics. Obviously, I was unable to include literature characters as the visual images are within the reader's mind. Another caveat is my own preferences, especially for the comic book chicks. I was a DC Comic fan in the '70s and relatively recently I have begun reading them again as the popularity and the number of woman heroines with their own books have increased. I've read very little Marvel comics, hence the lack of Marvel characters.


Amidala, Padme (Fic): Movie, Star Wars saga (1999-2005). Image: Natalie Portman. Real name Padme Naberrie, she was elected Queen of Naboo when she was 14 years old. She marries Anakin Skywalker and bears two children, Leia and Luke.

Arwen Undomiel (Evenstar) (Fic): Lord of the Rings, book and movie. Image: Liv Tyler. "Queenly she looked, and thought and knowledge were in her glance, as of one who has known many things that the years bring." Elven princess of Rivendell. Arwen was the daughter of Elrond (half-elven) and Queen Celebrian. Married Aragorn, and in doing so, forsook her immortality. Movie Quote: "I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all of the ages of this earth alone." Note: (Thereandbackagain website: Click on Lore section for complete bio)

Arwyn (Fic): CrossGen Comic: Sojourn. An expert archer, Arwyn has vowed vengeance against Mordath, whose forces killed her husband and daughter. Arwyn is on a quest to gather the 5 fragments of Ayden's arrow, which when brought together will bring about Mordath's destruction. Note: I admit, I read this comic as much for the wonderful art by Greg Land than for the story.


Birds of Prey (Fic): DC Comics (1996-Present). After a series of one-shots and a mini-series, in 1999 Birds of Prey became a monthly title written by Chuck Dixon with art by Greg Land. 'Birds of Prey' is an espionage/action comic, featuring the friendship and partnership between Barbara Gordon and Dinah Lance. Recently, the series has seen a huge surge in popularity when the writing was taken over by Gail Simone in August '03. Comments by Simone on BoP: Birds of Prey is the story of two friends; the brilliant Barbara Gordon, codename: Oracle, also the former Batgirl, and Dinah Lance, the dangerous and impulsive Black Canary. "Oracle's just cleverer than everyone else," said Simone. "She sees much and remembers all, but is physically at a disadvantage. Canary is hugely physical...she keeps fighting when others would give up. But she's not the best at considering the implications of her own actions. So really, their strengths are their partner's weaknesses. But Oracle's a better dresser. You've got two creative thinkers in the lead roles... they're smart, funny, sexy and dangerous. The perfect team." And Simone is adding one more to the mix - The Huntress - thus Oracle will have to rely on a woman she doesn't like and barely trusts. Check out the definative Birds of Prey website at

Black Canary II (Fic): DC Comics (1983-Present). Dinah Lance, daughter of Black Canary I (Diana Drake Lance, 1940-1990). Dinah possesses a sonic "Canary cry" and is considered one of the top martial artists in the DC Universe. She began her career at age 19 and was one of the founding members of the JLA (Justice League of America). For many years she was romantically involved with Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow. BC is currently partnered with Oracle in the Birds of Prey comic. Quote: Black Canary: "I want to look in his eyes while I'm kicking his a-" Oracle: "Is that possible?" BC: "It will be when I'm done."

Bristow, Sydney (Fic): Alias TV (2001-Present) Image: Jennifer Garner. A CIA double agent, who was instrumental in bringing down SD-6, a covert criminal organization. Originally recruited by SD-6 while a grad student. Traveling around the world incognito. Fighting with the bad guys. Wrestling with inner demons. For Sydney, this is a typical day in her life at her not-so-typical job as a double agent for the CIA. Quote: "I just wanted to rip his finger right off again. Does that make me a bad person?"


Carter, Samantha (FIC): SG-1 TV (1997- Present) Image: Amanda Tapping. Major Samantha Carter is a team specialist on Stargate technology, with a doctorate in astrophysics. Carter brings both extensive scientific knowledge and military training to the SG-1 team.

Catwoman (Fic): DC Comics (1940-present). Selina Kyle, Femme Fatale, Catburglar. Selina grew up on the streets of Gotham turning to stealing and prostitution to survive. She has an on again/off again relationship with Batman. In 2002, a new Catwoman comic series by Ed Brubaker was launched and has been touted as one of the best-written comics today. I whole heartily agree. Quote: "Show a man what he expects to see, and he won't look beneath the surface."

Charlie's Angels (Fic): TV (1976-81), Movies (2000,03). Image: Drew Barrymore, Carmen Diaz, Lucy Liu.


Connor, Sarah (Fic): Terminator movies (1984,91) Image: Linda Hamilton. Is targeted for assassination by machines from the future in order to keep her son from defeating them. Ends up battling two Terminators and survives with her son protected. "She was created strong, but with the ability to cry and be comforted. She was created fit, but with the humbleness to limp and look tired. She was created as a sexy action hero, but still holds herself as a typical woman of honor. She was created as a mother, but can still kick any enemy's butt for the well-being of her son."

Cregg, C.J. (Fic): TV, West Wing (1999-Present) Image: Allison Janney. Answering questions, running damage control and crafting "truths" for public consumption are all in a day's work for Press Secretary C.J. Cregg. Luckily, her background in a Hollywood public relations firm has thoroughly prepared her for the job. Although, the massive pay cut was a bit of a shock. C.J. has a quick wit which helps keep her sane when dealing with the press. Quote: "I'm a woman in her prime. I'm a prime woman." Note: C.J. = Claudia Jean.

Croft, Lara (Fic): Video Game, Comic, Movies. Image: Angelina Jolie. The daughter of famed archaeologist Lord Henshingly Croft, Lara was brought up in the secure world of the British aristocracy. As a "Tomb Raider", she found a way of life, not a profession. She rarely works on commission, preferring the art of collecting and making new discoveries to pillaging the remnants of long lost civilizations for profit. To fund her adventurous lifestyle though, Lara works as a professional photojournalist. She has made a name for herself in the field by winning a number of Pulitzer prizes.


Elektra (Fic): Marvel Comics (1980-Present) Image: Jennifer Garner. Matt Murdock's (Daredevil) former girlfriend and daughter of a Greek diplomat. She emotionally withdrew from Matt and from the world when her father was accidentally killed during a hostage situation. She went to the Far East to train with martial arts master Stick and became a member of his order, until her pain and anger from the past caused Stick to expel her. In an effort to prove herself to Stick, she infiltrated the Hand's organization of assassins, but became wrapped up with them and ended up working for them. Killed, and then brought back, Elektra continues to work as an assassin-for-hire.

Eowyn (Dernhelm) (Fic): Lord of the Rings. Image: Miranda Otto. "Strong she seemed and stern as steel, a daughter of kings." Sister of Eomer, niece of Theoden. Eowyn kills the Witch King of Angmar at the battle of Pellenor, though she was critically injured by the Black Breath. During her stay in the Houses of Healing, she met Faramir, the Steward of Gondor, whom she later marries and becomes the White Lady of Ithilien. ( website: Check out the Eowyn video) Movie Quote: "I'm no man."

Fiona, Princess (Fic): Shrek, movie (2001) While Fiona tries as much as possible to stick to all the fairytale conventions, she is not your typical damsel in distress. She's smart, tough and spirited, but she is also a princess with a deep dark secret who waits patiently for her one true love to sweep her off her feet.

Gabrielle (Fic): Xena: The Warrior Princess, TV (1995-2001) Image: Renee O'Connor. First introduced as a young, innocent village girl with a thirst for adventure. Traveling with Xena, she grew to be an accomplished Bard, an Amazon Queen, a warrior, and later a pacifist and back again, developing into a formidable woman. Quotes: Xena: "I made you leave the Way of Love. That was my fault." Gabrielle: "I had a choice to do nothing, or to save my friend. I chose the way of Friendship." ; "Xena, you brought out the best in me. Before I met you, no one saw me for who I was. I felt invisible. But, you saw all the things that I could be. You saved me, Xena." and "Does an Amazon Queen beat a Warrior Princess?"


Gordon, Barbara (Fic): DC Comics (1967-Present). (Images: Dina Meyer) As Batgirl and later as Oracle, Babs possesses a genius-level intellect, a photographic memory, an expert at research & analysis, Judo, and adept at escrima (the Philippine art of stick fighting). Suffering from feelings of self-doubts and inadequacies, Barbara eventually retired as Batgirl, only to be shot and crippled a few months later by the Joker. In the months following, she'd hidden herself away from the world, going out only for her physical and emotional therapy sessions. But the woman who had been Batgirl got tired of being afraid and feeling useless. She used her researcher's talents and a grant from the Wayne Foundation to begin anew as Oracle (1989). From her computers she helps and leads many of the DC superheroes and is the leader of the Birds of Prey. She fights, she perseveres, and she is a leader on a team of leaders (Batman, Nightwing, and Robin all lead teams of their own, but they are often led by Oracle in Gotham). In 2002, Wizard Magazine named Oracle the #1 greatest heroine. Click here for another good bio of Barbara Gordon. Quote: "Sorry... but isn't it ALWAYS the same? You're in a hurry and there's a run in every set of tights."

Huntress (Fic): DC Comics (image: Ashley Scott). There are two Huntresses. The original Huntress: Helena Wayne, daughter of Bruce Wayne (Batman) and Selina Kyle (Catwoman), existed in an alternate universe of DC Comics (1977-86). Helena becomes the Huntress after the death of her mother. In 1986, DC Comics "rebooted" their entire comics line in "Crisis of Infinite Earths". Helena Wayne is killed and erased as if never existed, until the extremely short-lived TV show, Birds of Prey. The current Huntress: Helena Bertinelli (1989-Present) was born into a Mafia crime family. Her family was killed by hitmen and Helena became the Huntress to revenge their deaths. Based in Gotham, a master of martial arts and marksmanship, her tendency towards deadly force and independence has put her at odds with Batman. Currently she is not in a continuing comic but in 2004 will become a regular in the Birds of Prey comic.

Janeway, Kathryn (Fic): Star Trek: Voyager TV (1995-2001) Image: Kate Mulgrew. First female Captain regularly portrayed in the Star Trek series. Janeway is a tough captain who is not afraid to take chances, while her talents and intelligence in engineering and science, thoughtfulness, dedication and diplomacy have earned her respect and recognition as one of the best in Starfleet command.


Katchoo & Francine - Strangers in Paradise (Fic): Comic by Terry Moore. Excerpts from the SiP website: It's the story of Katina "Katchoo" Choovanski and Francine Peters, and the people they fall in and out of love with. It's a tale of dark pasts and hopeful futures, double-crosses and true friendship, love and hate. In other words: it's a story of real life, kicked up a notch. Katchoo: strong-willed and aggressive, very Type-A. Her temper is frightening, her eyes are world-weary and her voice has a hoarse quality to it that cracks when she's upset. She is the most loyal friend in the world and the worst enemy you ever had. You're never really sure if Katchoo is a good girl gone bad or a bad girl on good behavior. Francine: is sweet. You'd like her. Francine is just as multi-faceted as Katchoo, but far less confrontational, even with herself, hence the pleasant sidekick persona. But when circumstances force her hand, Francine can be just as brave, angry, jealous, strong or mistaken as any woman. Note: biggest surprise to me: that SiP is written by a man. Moore writes these two women very well indeed.

Nikita (Fic): La Femme Nikita: Movie (1990), TV (1997-2001) Image: Peta Wilson. Nikita, a young, beautiful, and courageous woman falsely accused of a crime she did not commit and given a difficult choice: join a secret and ruthless government anti-terrorist agency called Section One ... or be executed. Since joining Section, Nikita has done whatever has been necessary to survive while desperately trying to create a life of her own on the outside. After many years of trying, Nikita has succeeded in securing her freedom through a secret alliance with a powerful member of the organization; she has finally been given the opportunity to determine her own destiny.

Organa, Princess Leia (Fic): Movie, Star Wars saga (1977-83) Image: Carrie Fisher. Daughter of Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala, twin sister of Luke Skywalker. She was raised by Bail Organa on the planet of Alderaan. She was known always as Princess Leia Organa. She is an active member of the Rebel Alliance, forging plans to extinguish the enemy. She later marries Han Solo and has 3 kids; twins Jaina and Jacen, and young Anakin.


Peel, Mrs. Emma (Fic): The Avengers TV (1965-67) Image: Diana Rigg. With an IQ of 152, Mrs. Peel was a mental match (as well as a physical match) for any opponent. Her beauty, prowess, wit, and charm made her one of the most desirable and formidable women of the 60's and early 70's. Few women since have had such a long-lasting impact.

Pezzini, Sara (Fic): Top Cow Comics, Witchblade TV (Warner Bros.). Image: Yancy Butler. The short-lived TV show was based on the comic book. Pezzini, a NYPD Cop, comes in contact with an ancient gauntlet, which melds onto her wrist and protects her from harm -- forever changing her destiny. It is the Witchblade, an ancient weapon that both heightens her powers of perception and transforms itself into a formidable sword that is one with its wearer. With an arsenal of amazing powers -- and a mind of its own -- the Witchblade is both a blessing and a curse. Quote: "Any day above ground is a special day." Note: Comic is too much T&A for my tastes.

Ripley, Ellen (Fic): Alien movies (1979-97). Image: Sigourney Weaver. The survivor of many encounters with the hostile ALIEN species - spanning several centuries. Quote: "Get away from her, you BITCH!!"


Rosenberg, Willow (Fic): Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV (1993-2003) Image: Alyson Hannigan. Willow is extremely intelligent and a whiz on computers who developed into a powerful witch. When her lover was killed by Warren, this enraged Willow, who used dark magic to make herself extremely powerful. She killed Warren, then, overwhelmed, decided to end the world. After fighting off Buffy, it was Xander who got through to Willow. Willow went to England for the summer with Giles, who, along with a coven of witches, trained her so that she could control and properly use the magic within her. Quote: "I'm so evil and skanky. And I think I'm kinda gay."

Scully, Dana (Fic) X-Files TV (1993-2002) Special Agent Scully is a medical doctor with a specialty in forensics and with an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Maryland. She was recruited by the FBI right out of medical school, and had been teaching for two years at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA when she was assigned to be Mulder's partner in order to keep an eye on him and determine whether he was perhaps too obsessed with the X Files. Quote: "The truth is out there, but so are the lies."

Selene (Fic): Underworld movie (2003). Image: Kate Beckinsale. A vampire warrior, a Death Dealer, devoted to slaying the Vampires' enemies, The Lycans (werewolves).

Sommers, Jamie (Fic): The Bionic Woman TV (1975-78). Image: Lindsey Wagner. A tennis pro who suffered massive injuries following a skydiving accident. She was saved using secret, experimental bionic replacement of her legs, right arm and ear. She became an undercover OSI agent.


Summers, Buffy (Fic): Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Movie, TV (1997-2003) Image: Sarah Michelle Gellar. "In every generation there is a chosen one... she alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the slayer." Buffy Summers knows this tale by heart, and no matter how hard she tries to be just a "normal girl", she cannot escape her destiny... Together with "The Scooby Gang", Buffy & co. will slay their demons, survive one apocalypse after another, attend high school and college... and above all, understand that growing up truly can be Hell sometimes... literally. Quote: "Come on, we fight monsters, this is what we do. They show up, they scare us, I beat them up, and they go away." Note: Inscription on her headstone: "She Saved The World a Lot."

Sun, Aeryn (Fic): Farscape, TV (1999-2003). Image: Claudia Black. A member of the Peacekeeper Military, Aeryn was a top-notch soldier and combat pilot until her encounter with the Farscape crew. Their ship, Moya, rendered her, by Peacekeeper standards, "irreversibly contaminated" and ostracized her from the only family she'd ever known. Her adventures with the Farscape crew has taught her that there are other means and methods of communicating, but she still turns to combat as her primary solution to any problem Moya might face. She now sees the Peacekeepers through the eyes of Moya's crew and knows them to be relentless and in many ways wrong, but there is still much about Aeryn that she still considers herself a traitor. Quote: "It's not you, It's me... I don't like YOU."

The Lady/Ellen (Fic): The Quick and the Dead, movie (1995). Image: Sharon Stone. A young woman seeks to avenge her father's death at the annual gunfighter's tournament in the ghostly town called Redemption, where an outlaw named Herod rules with a brutal, calculating precision. The film is set on the town's one dusty street, as one fighter after another is fatally eliminated from the ranks until only two fighters remain: the young woman, and Herod, her father's killer.

Trinity (Fic): Matrix Movies (1999-2003). Image: Carrie-Anne Moss. A former hacker who broke into the NSA database. Morpheus has long since "woken" Trinity up to the real world where she is now a crewmember of the Neb. Quote: "Touch me and that hand will never touch anything again."


Wonder Woman (FIC): Diana, DC Comics (1941-Present) Wonder Woman is Diana, the daughter of Hippolyta and a former princess of the Amazons of Themyscira. She is the reincarnated spirit of a human child who died in her mother's womb almost 30,000 years ago, brought to life by several Greek goddesses to combat the schemes of Ares, God of War. These Greek goddesses, as well as Hermes, the messenger God, funneled the spirit into a clay sculpture crafted by Hippolyta, bringing it to life and was given special powers by each of these Olympians. Demeter gave the spirit the ever-renewing power and strength of the earth; Aphrodite, beauty and loving compassion; Athena gave wisdom; Artemis, a keen eye and empathy with animals; and Hestia gave the spirit sisterhood with the Fires of Truth, that people would always trust and speak truthfully to the new child. The full power of Hestia's gift would manifest later, when the god's granted Wonder Woman the Lasso of Truth. Hermes' gift to the spirit was that of superhuman speed and the incomparable gift of flight. Diana became Themyscira's ambassador to the outside world, called "Patriarch's World" by the Amazons. See an extensive bio here. Quote: Batman: "Ever wonder what you would have done if you'd lost?" Wonder Woman: "Huh. That's not a possibility I've ever considered."

Xena (Fic): Xena: The Warrior Princess, TV (1995-01) Image: Lucy Lawless. After leading the defense of her town against the warlord Cortese, the young Xena got a taste for victory and built her own army to defend Amphipolis against its enemies. An encounter with Julius Caesar left her with broken legs and a burning desire for blood. After becoming one of the most feared warlords in Greece, an encounter with Hercules turned Xena around and put her on the road to redemption. With the help of Gabrielle, she now seeks to make up for all of her past misdeeds. Quote: "I have many skills.".

Yu Shu Lien (Fic): Movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) The greatest swordswoman of her day, she works as a merchant, but trains in martial arts with her master, Mu Bai, the man she loves with a secret forbidden passion.


There are many I wished I had room to include, with a number of huge omissions - Marian Anderson, Martha Graham, Helen Keller, Tina Turner, Cleopatra, Florence Nightingale, Madeline Albright, Mary Cassatt and Audrey Hepburn to name just a few. But I tried to get a good cross-section. Admittedly, most are modern Chicks, if only for familiarity and available images. Even now I'm sooo tempted to tweak it by adding and maybe subtracting but I'd never be finished!

Angelou, Maya (1928- ) A renown and celebrated poet laureate, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director. Within the rhythm of her poetry and elegance of her prose lies Angelou's unique power to help readers of every orientation span the lines of race. Quote: "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain."

Bly, Nillie (1867-1922) Born Elizabeth Cochrane. In the 1880s and 1890s, as a reporter for Joseph Pulitzer's New York World, she became a pioneer in journalism and investigative reporting. Before the muckrakers of the early 20th century publicized corruption and before the investigative reporters of today sought out the story behind the story, Bly paved the way to valuable journalism as one of the first to "go behind the scenes" to expose society's ills. At some personal danger, she had herself committed to a mental institution for 10 days so she could study firsthand how the mentally ill were being treated. As a result of her exposé, the care of the mentally ill was reformed. As the New York Journal recognized, Bly was considered the "best reporter in America."

Boadicea (~30AD) Boudicca, known in Roman annals as Boadicea, was born into Celtic aristocracy around 30 A.D. Boudicca married into the Iceni royalty in southeastern Britain and bore two daughters. After her husband's death came a series of surprising and ruthless attacks on her and her daughters by the Romans, and for this the Iceni tribe became outraged and Boudicca ultimately led a force believed to number over one hundred thousand or more, in a massive rebellion that left a permanent thorn in the side of the Roman Empire.


Child, Julia (1912- ) During World War II, she served with the Office of Strategic Services in Washington DC, Ceylon, and China. After the war, her husband, Paul Child, was assigned to the American Embassy in Paris. It was in Paris that Julia started her culinary career, at the Cordon Bleu. In collaboration with her two French colleagues, she wrote "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" (1961). The book gave birth to the PBS television series "The French Chef" and was followed by several other series and cookbooks. Click on her name for a great interactive Smithsonian site. Quote: "Life itself is the proper binge".

Clinton, Hillary Rodham (1947- ) Former First Lady, currently a US Senator for New York. Quote: "If I'm going to be criticized for doing what I believe in, I might as well just keep doing what I believe in."

Curie, Marie (1867-1934) Polish-French chemist and physicist. Born in Warsaw, In 1891, she went to Paris to continue her studies at the Sorbonne where she obtained Licenciateships in Physics and the Mathematical Sciences. She met Pierre Curie, Professor in the School of Physics, in 1894 and in the following year they were married. She succeeded her husband as Head of the Physics Laboratory at the Sorbonne, gained her Doctor of Science degree in 1903, and following the tragic death of Pierre Curie in 1906, she took his place as Professor of General Physics in the Faculty of Sciences, the first time a woman had held this position. The discovery of radioactivity by Henri Becquerel in 1896 inspired the Curies in their brilliant researches and analyses which led to the isolation of polonium, named after the country of Marie's birth, and radium. Mme. Curie developed methods for the separation of radium from radioactive residues in sufficient quantities to allow for its characterization and the careful study of its properties, therapeutic properties in particular. Together with her husband, she was awarded half of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903 , for their study into the spontaneous radiation discovered by Becquerel, who was awarded the other half of the Prize. In 1911 she received a second Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry, in recognition of her work in radioactivity. Note: Her daughter, Irene Joliot-Curie was also a Nobel Prize winner. She shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 1935 with her husband, in recognition of their synthesis of new radioactive elements. Quote: "Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood."


Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) Married to Prince Charles on July 29, 1981, divorced in 1996. They had 2 sons: William, second in line to the throne, was born in 1982; Harry followed in 1984. In the late 1980s, Diana began increasingly to involve herself in charity work, taking on a number of causes including such sensitive issues as HIV/AIDS, domestic abuse, drug addiction, breast cancer and the banning of land mines. She traveled thousands of miles a year in support of her favorite causes. Quote: "I think the biggest disease the world suffers from in this day and age is the disease of people feeling unloved. I know that I can give love for a minute, for half an hour, for a day, for a month, but I can give. I am very happy to do that, I want to do that."

Didrikson Zaharias, Babe (1912-1956) One of the greatest athletes of all time. Babe Didrikson Zaharias first came into national prominence as a basketball player. Though but a teenager, she was nominated for three All-American teams and once scored 106 points in a game. Of the 634 track and field events in which she was entered, she won all but 12. At the 1932 Olympic games she won gold in Javelin and 80-meter hurdles. Babe was a "natural" and excelled in just about everything she tried. But her greatest success was in golf, eventually winning 33 tournaments, including 10 majors, 3 of them U.S. Opens. Zaharias died of cancer at the age of 42 on September 27, 1956. Don't miss an excellent NY Times tribute to the Babe. Quote: "Loosen your girdle and let 'er fly!"

Earhart, Amelia (1897-1937) Earhart was the first woman pilot to make a solo flight across the Atlantic in 1932, duplicating the feat that made Charles Lindbergh famous just five years earlier. She was also the first woman to fly solo across the Pacific from Hawaii to California [1935]. "Lady Lindy" Earhart set speed and distance records throughout her career and was active in many women's organizations. In July 1937, at age 40, Earhart was a month into an around-the-world flight when radio contact was lost in the mid-Pacific, somewhere between New Guinea and tiny Howland Island. Despite numerous searches, her plane was never found. Don't miss a loving tribute to Earhart in the NY Times.. Quote: "Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace."


Ebadi, Shirin (1947- ) Iranian lawyer and human rights activist and winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts for democracy and human rights. Excerpt from Nobel Prize Bio: With Islam as her starting point, Ebadi campaigns for peaceful solutions to social problems, and promotes new thinking on Islamic terms. She has displayed great personal courage as a lawyer defending individuals and groups who have fallen victim to a powerful political and legal system that is legitimized through an inhumane interpretation of Islam. Ebadi has shown her willingness and ability to cooperate with representatives of secular as well as religious views.

Estess, Jenifer (1963-2003) Jenifer Estess, a successful theater producer at age 35, was diagnosed with a fatal motor-neuron disease - amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's Disease. Within five years, she was told her motor neurons would gradually stop working, robbing her of any muscular movement and eventually paralyzing her lungs. There was no treatment, let alone a cure. But instead of accepting her death sentence, Estess - together with sisters Valerie and Meredith and friends - launched Project A.L.S., a foundation with a mission to stamp out the deadly disease. Drawing upon her experience and expertise as a producer, Estess united the corporate and entertainment communities in the interest of raising significant research funds. Raising more than $17 million for research, Project ALS has gone in hot pursuit of a cure, bringing together neurological scientists from Johns Hopkins and Harvard to test the effectiveness of controversial stem cell therapies on brain diseases like ALS. In late July 2003, the team reported a stunning breakthrough: formerly paralyzed mice were able to move after doctors implanted stem cells in their spinal cords. "That's my proudest moment," Estess says. "I know this research might be too late for me, but future generations will have hope and I'm lucky I could give it to them." Here is a Forbes article on Estess and Project ALS. Note: I added Estess at the last moment, inspired after hearing a tribute to her and her work on the Today show, the day after her death on Dec. 16.


Franklin, Rosalind (1920-1958) There is probably no other woman scientist with as much controversy surrounding her life and work as the chemist, Rosalind Franklin. Franklin was responsible for much of the research and discovery work that led to the understanding of the structure of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). The two individuals most commonly credited with this remarkable feat are Francis Crick and James Watson. Maurice Wilkins played a crucial role as well, and he shared the 1962 Nobel Prize with Watson and Crick for the discovery. Using X-ray crystallography, the locations of atoms in any crystal can be precisely mapped by looking at the image of the crystal under an X-ray beam. Rosalind Franklin applied her chemist's expertise to the unwieldy DNA molecule, and after complicated analyses she discovered - and was the first to state - that the sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA lies on the outside of the molecule. She elucidated the basic helical structure of the molecule as well. Without her knowledge or consent, Wilkins provided her data to Watson and Crick, her competitors at Cambridge University. These scientists used Franklin’s data and that of other scientists to build their ultimately correct and detailed description of DNA's structure in 1953. A debate about the amount of credit due Franklin continues today. It is a tremendous shame that Franklin did not receive due credit for her essential role in this discovery, neither during her lifetime nor after her untimely death at age 37 due to cancer. Check out the website on the excellent PBS NOVA special: Secret of Photo 51 for more info on Franklin, her work and the controversy.


Gibson, Althea (1927-2003) In 1957 Althea Gibson became the first African-American tennis player to win at Wimbledon and Forest Hills. After retiring from tennis, Gibson went on to play professional golf, again smashing barriers by becoming the first African-American to earn her LPGA card. Other African-American tennis players like Arthur Ashe and the Williams sisters followed Gibson, though not quickly. Althea Gibson's achievement was unique, as the first African-American of either sex to break the color bar in national and international tournament tennis at a time when prejudice and racism were far more pervasive in society and sports. Quote: "No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you."

Griffith-Joyner, Florence (1959-1998) Her 100-meter record (10.49), set at the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials in Indianapolis, remains unchallenged. Later that year at the Seoul Olympics, she won gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter races and in the 400-meter relay. After retiring from competition, the running champion established a foundation for disadvantaged youth to encourage them to study and participate in athletics. Her answer to admirers who longed to be just like her: "Don't be just like me. Be better than me."

Hepburn, Katharine (1907-2003) Hepburn's career spanned seven decades, she was nominated for a dozen Best Actress Oscars and winner of four. She was perhaps the most decorated actor, male or female, in the industry. Hepburn's contributions to society far exceeded her triumphs of stage and screen. She didn't just play strong women--she was a strong woman. A fixture on annual lists of the most admired, Hepburn was the quintessential independent woman who took control both personally and professionally. Quotes: “I never realized until lately that women were supposed to be the inferior sex.” - "I'm a personality as well as an actress. Show me an actress who isn't a personality, and you'll show me a woman who isn't a star." and "Listen to the song of life."


Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc) (1412-1431) At 13, she experienced what she believed were divine revelations in the form of voices, bright light, and the appearance of angels. Eventually she was convinced of her divine calling to help the king of France drive the English from French soil during the Hundred Years' War. Her prophecies convinced Charles VII to use her divine powers to assist the French, and clad as a man in a suit of white armor, she lead troops into successful battles against the English. She was later captured by the English, who engineered her ecclesiastical trial as a heretic. On May 30, 1431, she was burned at the stake. She was 19 years old. Her demeanor and request for a cross to clutch evoked great sympathy even from her bitterest enemies. She has traditionally been recognized as a French patriot and martyr. Twenty-four years after her death, the Pope ordered a retrial on the heresy charges, which were then reversed because of numerous errors and procedural questions regarding the fairness of the original trial. In 1920, St. Joan was canonized by Pope Benedict XV. Joan-of-Arc-bio.

Joyner-Kersey, Jackie (1962 - ) Jackie Joyner-Kersee is often regarded as the best all-around athlete in the world and the all-time greatest heptathlete. 2-time world champion in both long jump (1987,91) and heptathlon (1987,93); won heptathlon gold medals at 1988 and '92 Olympics and Long Jump gold at '88 Games; also won Olympic silver (1984) in heptathlon and bronze (1992,96) in Long Jump; Sullivan Award winner (1986); only woman to receive The Sporting News Man of Year award. At 23 feet and nine inches, she holds the American record for the long jump. With her score of 7,161, she was the first woman to earn more than 7,000 points in the heptathlon, and has held the heptathlon world record since 1986. Kersee may be the greatest female athlete to ever live, but she is more importantly a most compassionate and inspiring person, with a strong pride in who she is and a clear vision of what she wants to do for others. Quote: "Age is no barrier. It's a limitation you put on your mind."


King, Billie Jean (1943- ) Dominated the world of tennis for more than 20 years, winning 20 Wimbledon titles, 13 U.S. Open titles and more. King was the founder of the Women's Tennis Association and helped create the Women's Sports Foundation. King's drive turned women's tennis into a major professional sport. Outraged at the disparity between men's and women's prizes at major tournaments, King spearheaded the drive for equal prize money and equal treatment of women. Quote: "Be bold. If you're going to make an error, make a doozey, and don't be afraid to hit the ball."

King, Coretta Scott (1927- ) After her husband's assassination, Coretta Scott King made a swift transition from a dedicated wife and parent living in comparative seclusion to a dynamic civil rights and peace crusader in her own right. She speaks passionately on issues of economic and racial justice, women’s and children’s rights, gay and lesbian dignity, religious freedom, the needs of the poor and homeless, full-employment, health care, educational opportunities, nuclear disarmament and ecological sanity. Quote: “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.”

Leslie, Lisa (1972- ) Basketball player. 2-time WNBA Finals MVP (2001-02) with the champion Los Angeles Sparks; 2001 regular season MVP; 3-time WNBA All-Star Game MVP (1999,2001-02); 2-time Olympic gold medalist (1996,2000); consensus National Player of the Year at USC (1994). In the WNBA she ave. 16.9 pts and 10.4 rebounds/game in the Olympics she ave. 19.5 pts and 7.3 rebounds/game. She was also the first woman to slam dunk in a professional game. In addition to her sports accomplishments, Leslie is a spokesperson for breast cancer awareness and prevention. She travels the country to speak on the topic and her public service announcements are shown on television and at sports arenas.


Navratilova, Martina (1956 -), Czech-American tennis player. After holding the Czech singles title (1972-74), she defected (1975) to the United States. Known for her aggressive serve-and-volley style, she dominated women's tennis from 1978-1990. She won the women's singles at Wimbledon a record nine times, and also won four U.S. Open titles, three Australian Open titles and two French Open titles and was the No.1 player in the world 7 times (1978-79,82-86). With her partner Pam Shriver, she also dominated women's doubles competitions, winning 109 consecutive matches from 1983 to 1985. In a two-decade career, Navratilova became the all-time leader, male or female, in singles titles (167); she also holds 165 doubles titles. Martina is still active in very limited competition and was inducted into International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2000. Quote: "Labels are for filing. Labels are for clothing. Labels are not for people."

Queen Nefertiti (1372-1350 B.C.) Nefertiti "The beautiful one has come." The wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten and perhaps a ruler in her own right after his death. The couple's renegade practice of monotheism —they worshipped the sun disc god over all others, and seem to have outlawed their subjects' polytheistic devotion — threatened Egypt's priesthood and ensured they would have no shortage of powerful enemies. Some Egyptologists think it was Nefertiti who actually instigated this new religion and catalyzed a rift between the royals and the priests. She bore Akhenaten six daughters, two of whom may have died in a plague. She was the stepmother of Tutankhamen. Some Egyptian scholars theorize that around year 12 of Akhenaten's reign Nefertiti may well have become his co-regent, and immediately after his death became a pharaoh in her own right, ruling alone for a short time. Like Akhenaten, Nefertiti's name was erased from historical records and her many likenesses defaced after her death, as Egypt reverted to its former religion. Visit Discovery Channel's Nefertiti special.


Novello, Antonia (1944- ) First woman and first Hispanic to be named Surgeon General of the United States. A pediatrician, Novello has used her position to alleviate suffering worldwide, especially for women and children.

O'Keeffe, Georgia (1887-1986) Artist and perhaps the best-known American woman painter. An American original in both her lifestyle and painting, O'Keeffe produced works of high energy and vision throughout her long life. Words do not capture the spare, intense, unforgettable art of Georgia O'Keeffe; her paintings reveal her better as, Alfred Stieglitz once said, "a woman on paper." Quote: "Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time."

Oakley, Anne (1860-1926) Markswoman, was probably the nation's finest. A performer for many years with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Oakley was a staunch supporter of other women's opportunities and raised funds to send needy women to college and nursing school. She was injured in a train accident in 1901 that ended her career with the Wild West. After she recovered, she went on to shoot in charity events to help orphans, widows and underprivileged women. She campaigned for women's rights to hold paid employment, earn equal pay and to participate in sports and defend herself in her own home and on city streets.


Parks, Rosa (1913- ) Known as "the mother of the Civil Rights Movement," when, in 1955, she refused to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama. The event sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, the first major effort in the Civil Rights struggle.

Richards, Ann Willis (1933- ) She began her career in politics in the early 1970s after having raised four children. A Democrat, she served as county commissioner in Travis co., Tex. from 1977 to 1982. Richards was elected to the first of two terms as Texas state treasurer in 1982. A forcefully articulate and amusingly folksy speaker, she gained national prominence with her keynote address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. In 1990 Richards was elected governor of Texas, but she did not survive the conservative Republican tide that swept the nation in 1994 and was narrowly defeated in her reelection bid by George W. Bush. Quote: "I have always had the feeling I could do anything and my dad told me I could. I was in college before I found out he might be wrong."

Ride, Sally (1951- ) First American woman astronaut in space (1983), when she rode aboard the Challenger Space Shuttle. A scientist, Ride is now the Director of the California Space Institute at the University of California, San Diego. Quote: "All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.


Roosevelt, Eleanor (1884-1962) The trailblazing First Lady and wife of President Franklin Roosevelt. She spent her adult years working in politics and social reform. Her warmth and compassion inspired the nation, and she later became U.S. Delegate to the United Nations. The U.N. Declaration of Human Rights was largely her work, and she chaired the first-ever Presidential Commission on the Status of Women (1961). Quote: "I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall." Note: She has so many inspirational quotes but that one just made me LOL. I'll end on another of my faves: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Rudolph, Wilma (1940-1994) Overcoming severe polio as a child, Rudolph became the first American woman ever to win three gold medals in the Olympics. A track and field champion, Rudolph elevated women's track to a major presence in the United States. She created the Wilma Rudolph Foundation to help train young athletes. Quote: "Believe me, the reward is not so great without the struggle."

Sorenstam, Annika (1970- ) Swedish born Annika Sorenstam has dominated the LPGA since 1995. In 2002, she won 13 of her 25 starts, recording the greatest season in the LPGA in 40 years. 2003 was a big year for Sorenstam: two majors, the LPGA Championship and the Women's British Open, giving her the career Grand Slam. At the Colonial, Sorenstam became the first woman since Babe Didrikson in 1945 to play on the PGA Tour. Later in the year playing in the Skins Game, she won $225,000 and finished second behind Fred Couples, ahead of Phil Mickelson and Mark O'Meara. Sorenstam capped her year when she was voted The Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. Check out a tribute to Sorenstam, sportsperson of the year. Quote: "I still get butterflies on the first tee. I still get sweaty hands, and my heart pumps a lot going down the 18th. But I know what winning is all about now, and that's a feeling that I like."


Teresa, Mother (1910-1997) 1979 Nobel Peace Prize winner. Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was the daughter of Albanian parents -- a grocer and his wife. She was inspired to work in India by reports sent home from Jesuit missionaries in Bengal. At 18, she left home to join a community of Irish nuns with a mission in Calcutta. She spent 17 years teaching and being principal of St. Mary's high school in Calcutta. However, in 1946, her life changed forever. "It was in the train I heard the call to give up all and follow him to the slums to serve him among the poorest of the poor," she remembered. Two years later, Pope Pius XII granted permission for her to leave her order. After taking a medical training course to prepare for her new mission, she went into the slums of Calcutta to start a school for children. In 1950, the community she founded, the Missionaries of Charity, was recognized by the Vatican as a pontifical congregation. What began as an order with 12 members has grown to more than 4,000 nuns running orphanages, AIDS hospices and other charity centers worldwide. Quotes: "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."; "If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." And "I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness."

Tubman, Harriet (1820-1913) Tubman was born into a slave family in Maryland in either 1820 or 1821. After she escaped to the North, she was determined to help her family and others flee slavery. As the best known conductor of the Underground Railroad, Tubman made some 19 trips to the South between 1850 and 1860 leading around 300 people to freedom. Her courageous exploits earned her the nickname "Moses". During the Civil War, she continued to work freeing slaves, and also aided the Union as a nurse, spy, and military leader. After the war, she remained active for such causes as equality in education, women's suffrage, and care of the sick and elderly. Quote: "I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other."

Winfrey, Oprah (1954- ) The first African American woman to own her own television production company and who became television's highest-paid entertainer. As host of the nation's most successful talk show, Winfrey reaches more that 15 million people every day. She is an advocate for ending child abuse, and she contributes generously to colleges and universities. Quote: "Excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism."


Links for more bios of Real life Chicks Who Kick:

National Women's Hall of Fame
TIME Magazine: TIME 100 - People of the Century

Originally posted: 11-Jan-2004   Last "Tweaked": 18-Jan-2004