The National Women’s Hall of Fame announced its 2017 Inductees on February 7. These ten women have made significant contributions in a wide range of endeavors – from athletics to science, entertainment to philanthropy, from the Marines to the food industry. I profile four of those ten amazing women below. Match the woman with her accomplishment:
____ 1. The first African-American playwright and the youngest person to receive the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play.
____ 2. An animal sciences pioneer and autism advocate, her innovations have changed the livestock handling industry.
____ 3. The first woman to hold a major ambassador position abroad, she also served in Congress and established a program endowment that today is a major supporter of women in science, mathematics and engineering.
____ 4. The first woman to head a major film studio.
A. Clare Boothe Luce
B. Lorraine Hansberry
C. Sherry Lansing
D. Temple Grandin
The first American woman appointed to a major ambassador position abroad, Clare Boothe Luce was a magazine editor, a war journalist, an author and playwright and a U.S. Congresswoman. Her seven-decade career included time as associate editor of Vanity Fair, a playwright whose most successful play opened on Broadway in 1936, an author whose 1940 book on her travels in Europe was published just as World War II was beginning, a public servant elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Connecticut, the author of a screenplay that received an Oscar nomination, and the U.S. Ambassador to Italy. In 1983, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her legacy, the Clare Boothe Luce Program Endowment has become one of the single most significant sources of private support for women in science, mathematics and engineering.
The first African-American playwright and the youngest American to receive the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play, Lorraine Hansberry is best known as the author of A Raisin in the Sun. This play provides a window on the struggles of a black family living in segregated Chicago. After growing up in Chicago and attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Hansberry moved to New York City and joined the staff of the black newspaper Freedom. She was an activist for many causes around the world, often involving civil rights and women’s rights. Her play opened on Broadway in 1959, when she was 29 years old. Her creativity and activism were terminated when she tragically died of cancer at age 34.
The first woman to head a major film studio, Sherry Lansing is a trailblazer for women in the entertainment industry. Over her almost 30-year career, Lansing was involved in the production, marketing, and distribution of more than 200 films including multiple Academy Award winners. In 1980, she became the first woman to head a major film studio when she was named President of 20th Century Fox. From 1992-2005, she served as Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures. During those years, the studio enjoyed significant creative and financial success. The Sherry Lansing Foundation, which she established in 2005, is dedicated to “funding and raising awareness for cancer research, health, public education, and encore career opportunities.”
An animal sciences pioneer and advocate for people with autism, Dr. Temple Grandin’s innovations have transformed the livestock handling industry. Facilities she has designed are located in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. In North America, almost half of the cattle are handled in a center track restrainer system that she designed for meat plants. Curved chute and race systems she has designed for cattle are used worldwide and her writings on the flight zone and other principles of grazing animal behavior have helped many people to reduce stress on their animals during handling. She was named one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2010 and her life story was the subject of the acclaimed 2010 HBO biopic “Temple Grandin”, winner of seven Emmy awards and a Golden Globe.
Learn about more she-roes and celebrate amazing women. These women, all of whom will be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in September 2017, are among the more than 850 women profiled in the book Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. I am proud to tell women’s stories and to write them back into history.
(Answers 1-B, 2-D, 3-A, 4-C)