Driven by courage, intelligence, and a will to succeed that would make her neglect her husbands, children and family, Helena Rubinstein built a beauty empire. She was born Chaja Rubinstein, and at the age of 24 set off to Australia aboard the Prinz Regent Luitpol with twelve jars of face cream.
Mahalia Jackson was born October 26, 1911 in the Black Pearl section New Orleans. Raised by her mother until she was five years old, she grew up in what she called an "old shotgun shack" at Audubon streets between the railroad tracks and the Mississippi River levee. During her lifetime, she would perform for kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers and kept going back to sing in churches for the people who loved her voice first.
Very little is known of Amelia Simmons, author of American Cookery, or the art of dressing viands, fish, poultry, and vegetables, and the best modes of making pastes, puffs, pies, tarts, puddings, custards, and preserves, and all kinds of cakes, from the imperial plum to plain cake: Adapted to this country, and all grades of life, believed to be the first American cookbook by a European American. It contained recipes for pumpkin pudding, the basis for the classic American pumpkin pie, featured the first known printed recipe for turkey with cranberries.
Hetty Green was born Henrietta Robinson in New Bedford, Massachusetts on November 21, 1834. When everyone else was selling, Hetty Green bought real estate, railroads, entire city blocks and government bonds. She was considered the single biggest financier in the world.
Lorraine Hansberry was born the youngest of four to Carl Hansberry and Nannie Hansberry in Chicago, IL on May 19, 1930. She became the first African American, the youngest playwright, the fifth woman to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for the best play of the season on April 7, 1959 for her a play A Raisin in the Sun, which addressed equal rights in work/housing, and freedom.