Survey Names Notable American Women
BOSTON — A NATIONWIDE survey names Eleanor Roosevelt as the most influential American woman of the 20th century.
The survey, conducted by the Siena Research Institute at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., lists America's most influential women in 17 categories.
"This is not a definitive statement but rather a starting point for discussion about women's achievement in this century," says Thomas Kelly, co-director of the Siena Research Institute.
By surveying more than 300 scholars in the fields of history, American studies, and women's studies, the researchers compiled a list of leading women in each category.
The overall top 10 women in the survey are (in rank order): Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady; Jane Addams, social worker; Rosa Parks, civil rights activist; Margaret Sanger, social reformer; Margaret Mead, anthropologist; Charlotte Perkins Gilman, founder of the Women's Peace Party; Betty Friedan, founder of the National Organization for Women; Barbara Jordan, former congresswoman; Helen Keller, advocate for the blind; Alice Paul, founder of the National Woman's Party.
Top finishers in other categories include:
* Religion: Mary Baker Eddy, discoverer and founder of Christian Science and the founder of the Christian Science Monitor.
* Industry/Commerce: Frances Perkins, secretary of labor, first woman Cabinet member.
* Law: Sandra Day O'Connor, first woman Supreme Court justice.
* Education: Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Fla.
* Literature: Willa Cather, poet and novelist.
* Television: Lucille Ball, star of "I Love Lucy."
* Art: Georgia O'Keefe, painter.
* Film: Katharine Hepburn, actress.
* Sports: Babe Didrickson Zaharias, Olympic athlete.