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Susan B. Anthony and Other Notable Single Women

Updated on February 18, 2009

Single Women Who Have Impacted Society


Throughout history, there have been numerous women who have made huge contributions to society. A few of them were so passionate about their callings, they never married nor had children. Here are four women, representing four different fields, whose impacts on our lives will not be forgotten. These women are Susan B. Anthony, Jane Austen, Mary Cassatt, and Helen Keller.

Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony was born February 15, 1820. One of the most notable female figures in history, she started the National Woman’s Suffrage Association. She spent fifty years of her life fighting for the right for women to vote. Fourteen years after her death, the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920. A century after her birth, her hard work would now give women the right to vote. In 1979, she would be honored again by being the first woman to be pictured on a United States coin. The Susan B. Anthony dollar was minted until 1999, when it was replaced with the gold dollar coin.

Jane Austen

Jane Austen was a passionate writer, critic and speaker. Born in 1775, she dedicated her life to writing, and was known to be extremely outspoken on her beliefs. She channeled her wit and perception into her ability to write what she wanted, making her one of the most acclaimed writers of the 18th century. She is best known for her novels Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, MansfieldPark, and Emma. There is no doubt that her comic insight into the morality issues of the time helped transform the literary world into something it had not seen before.

Mary Cassatt self portrait  Metropolitan Museum of Art
Mary Cassatt self portrait Metropolitan Museum of Art

Mary Cassatt will always be regarded as one of America’s greatest impressionistic painters. Born in May 1844, she made a huge impact on what had been a male dominated field. She attended Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania School of Fine Art at the age of 16. Against her father’s wishes, she moved to Paris, where she could study some of the great masters of art. In 1879, she was the only American chosen to have her work on display with Degas, Renoir and Monet. Cassatt seemed to enjoy painting portraits, especially of mothers and children. With Cassatt’s independence, her painting took her all over the world, and gave her confidence in her abilities to explore different styles of painting.

Helen Keller

Helen Keller was born in June 1880, and was stricken with a life threatening illness when she was nineteen months old. Though she survived the illness, it left her blind and deaf. With the help of Annie Sullivan, her teacher and lifelong friend, Keller would learn to communicate with those around her. When she was 24, Keller became the first deaf blind person to earn a Bachelor of Art’s Degree. She was a passionate woman who used her limitations to help the needs of others. She campaigned for Women’s Suffrage, and was an advocate for people with disabilities. In 1964 she was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson.



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    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 9 years ago from Nagpur, India

      Thank you for a nice write-up on Single Women who made a difference to the world.