Extraordinary Women of Ohio

Extraordinary Women of Ohio

Would it surprise you if I tell you that the Great State of Ohio has more than ten facts that make it one of the best states to live in and business? Check my another post on Ohio’s History will blow your mind

  1. Ohio is proudly called the “Birthplace of Aviation” because two Ohioans, Orville, and Wilbur Wright, invented the first airplane, and changed the world of flight forever!
  2. Ohio paved humans for space exploration. Twenty-four astronauts were born in Ohio.
  3. Eight U.S. Presidents came from Ohio. Ohio is currently tied with Virginia for most U.S. Presidents.
  4. Thomas A. Edison, ingenious and one of the best inventors was born in Milan, OH.
  5. Cleveland is the proud home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  6. Ohio is home to the United States Air Force Museum.
  7. Ohio is known for Cedar Point, “America’s Roller Coaster.” 
  8. Ohio is a swing state which means Ohio is pretty significant for Presidential Elections.
  9. The survey ranked Ohio the 26th best state to live in.
  10. Ohio scored relatively high in factors like quality of life and safety but low in the economy, education & health.
  11. Consistently ranked one of the best states for business, Ohio offers residents many benefits, including a low cost of living, excellent schools, and good recreational opportunities.

Other than this, do you extraordinary and world-renowned women make the great state of Ohio even better.

Lucy Webb Hayes

In addition to being the state that claims that most U.S. Presidents (eight in total), Ohio also has bragging rights to the nation’s first “First Lady.” After Chillicothe native Lucy Webb Hayes was called “the first lady of the land” in a newspaper article about Rutherford Hayes’s 1877 inauguration, the “First Lady” title was attached to her and subsequent presidents’ wives. Mrs. Hayes was also the first First Lady with a college degree, and post-White House, she and her husband, lived in a Victorian mansion in Fremont,

Harriet Beecher Stowe

When President Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1862, he reportedly remarked, “So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.” That book, of course, was Uncle Tom’s Cabin – the anti-slavery novel that crystallized the Civil War’s underlying issue and made Stowe a best-selling author. Many of the landmark book’s most compelling episodes came from Underground Railroad stories she heard during the 1830s while living in Cincinnati.

Annie Oakley

Born and raised near Greenville, Annie Oakley shot game during her childhood to help feed her family – but by the late 1800s, Oakley’s sharpshooting skills made her both a featured performer in Buffalo Bill’s world-renowned Wild West show and the nation’s first female star. Although Queen Victoria pronounced Annie a “very clever little girl,” Sitting Bull gave her the lasting nickname, “Little Miss Sure Shot.” Today, Greenville’s Garst Museum is home to the National Annie Oakley Center and an incomparable memorabilia collection.

Dorothy Dandridge

Cleveland native, Dorothy Dandridge, dazzled the world with her film, singing, and dancing skills. As a darling of the Hollywood industry, she was one of the most famous African-American actresses of her time and the first to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. After starting her career alongside her sisters as The Wonder Children, she performed with stars like Louis Armstrong and Count Basie. Most notably perhaps was Dandridge’s defiance of type-casting, as she refused stereotypical roles based on her race. Her revolutionary starring roles earned her the first black woman feature on the cover of Life Magazine and several other accolades.

Jerrie Mock

Internationally famous was Newark native Jerrie Mock, the first woman to fly solo worldwide. Beginning and ending her ground-breaking 1964 flight in Columbus, Mock piloted a single-engine Cessna 180 named the “Spirit of Columbus” and logged 22,860 miles in 29 days. She became the first woman pilot to solo over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans during that global journey. When Mock winged her way from Honolulu to Columbus in 1966, she set the record for the longest nonstop flight by a woman.

Judith Resnik

Before NASA picked her for its first group of female astronauts in 1978, Akron’s Judith Resnik had earned a doctorate in electrical engineering and worked as a biomedical engineer. As a mission specialist on Space Shuttle Discovery’s 1984 maiden voyage, Resnik was the first American Jewish woman to make a space flight. On January 28, 1986, she and all other crew members aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger perished when it broke apart after liftoff at the Kennedy Space Center. Resnik was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, and a lunar crater is named for her.

Toni Morrison

Born in Lorain, Ohio, Toni Morrison is a renowned American novelist known for her award-winning tale, Beloved. The book was later brought to the big screen by Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover in the movie adaptation. This true story of an enslaved black woman won Morrison the Pulitzer prize and the American Book Award in 1988. She also later won the Nobel Prize in Literature and was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

Florence Ellinwood Allen

Seated at a grand desk in black judicial robes, Cleveland’s Florence Ellinwood Allen looks every inch the eminent jurist – and she most certainly should. When voters chose her for the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in 1920, Allen became the first woman elected to a judicial office in U.S. history. Two years later, Allen made history again, winning a seat on the Supreme Court of Ohio – the first woman elected to any state’s highest court. Thanks to President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1934 nomination, Allen also attained the distinction of being the first female judge appointed to a U.S. Court of Appeals (the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati).

Doris Day

AP Photo

Actress Doris Day was born in Cincinnati. Doris Day was given a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, as George W. Bush declared it “a good day for America when Doris Marianne von Kappelhoff of Evanston, Ohio decided to become an entertainer.” Doris Day was born to a music teacher and a housewife. She had dreamed of a dance career. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker posted on Instagram as a tribute to Doris Day, “Oh Ms. Day, A Cincinnati girl just like me. How many letters did I draft to you and didn’t send. I could never get it right, but they all said the same thing, I love you. Millions did and do. Godspeed. RIP” –

Erma Bombeck

Ron Frehm, AP Photo

According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, Erma Bombeck was a well-known newspaper humor columnist from Dayton. She also published 15 books, most of which became bestsellers. She wrote such gems as “When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It’s Time to Go Home.” Erma Bombeck began writing humor as a schoolgirl in her hometown of Dayton. In her syndicated newspaper column and best-selling books by the 1980s, she was America’s favorite funny lady, poking fun at marriage and motherhood with witty one-liners – “Never have more children than you have car windows.” The University of Dayton, her alma mater, now hosts the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop. I love writing so Erma is one of my Icons.

Yvette Mcgee Brown

in 2011, Columbus-native Yvette Mcgee Brown became the first African-American woman elected as Justice to the Ohio Supreme Court. Her career led her to hands-on community involvement, where she was the founding president of the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. This organization is dedicated to treating and preventing child abuse and domestic violence. Brown has been inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame and the Ohio Business Hall of Fame, along with many other public-service awards.

Marcy Kaptur

J. Scott Applewhite, AP Photo

The longest-serving woman in the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, is Toledo. The University of Toledo awarded congresswoman Kaptur an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree to recognize her “effective representation. She was named the National Mental Health Association’s “Legislator of the Year” for her championing mental health and received the 2002 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Kaptur is also the author of a book, Women in Congress: A Twentieth-Century Odyssey, published by Congressional Quarterly in 1996.

Nancy Cartwright

Richard Shotwell, AP Photo

Nancy Cartwright is an American actress, painter, sculptor, filmmaker, and philanthropist. She has over 150 credits to her name. Nancy is known for speech, and the debater is from Dayton, OH.

Mary Ellen Weber

Mary Ellen Weber - Wikipedia

Dr. Mary Webber (born August 24, 1962) is an American executive, scientist, aviator, and a former NASA astronaut. Weber was born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in Bedford Heights, Ohio.  Dr Weber received a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Weber has logged nearly 5,000 skydives and is an active skydiver, with 13 silver and bronze medals to date at the U.S. National Skydiving Championships and a world record in 2002 for the largest freefall formation, with 300 skydivers. In addition, she is an instrument-rated pilot, a skier and a scuba diver.

Sunita Lyn Williams

Sunita Williams Profile, Early Life, Education, Career, Awards, Achievements

Sunita Lyn Williams (née Pandya) was born on September 19, 1965, in Euclid, Ohio. Sunita Williams is an astronaut and also United States Navy officer. Sunita Williams spacewalked seven times and recorded spacewalk time of 50hours and 40 minutes. She held the record before breaking it by another extraordinary woman astronaut. Sunita Williams was a member of the International Space Station of Expeditions 14 and 15. In 2012, she even served as a flight engineer on Expedition 32 and commander of Expedition 33. She is one of my icons.

Halle Berry

Evan Agostini, AP Photo

Oscar-winning model and actress Halle Berry grew up in Oakwood, Ohio. They graduated from Bedford High School, a cheerleader, honor student, editor of the school newspaper, and prom queen. I love acting so Doris Day, Nancy Cartwright, Halle Berry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Katie Holmes, Alyson Stoker

Sarah Jessica Parker

Charles Sykes, AP Photo

Famous Actress Sarah Jessica Parker was born in Nelsonville.

Katie Holmes

Michel Euler, AP Photo

Actress Katie Holmes was born in Toledo.

Alyson Stoner

Richard Shotwell, AP Photo

Alyson Stoner was born in Toledo.

In addition to these women, countless influential Ohioan women have practically imprinted the history and drove the future as well. I love to read, write, travel, act, adventure, exploration and give back so these women are my Icons. I have a special for all of these women in my heart as an inspiration and aspiration to do good, be kind, and stay inspired. I am proud to say that I am a proud Ohioan. Let’s stay inspired and be Awesome as always!



  1. ohio.org
  2. Wikipedia
  3. ohiohistorycentral.org
  4. cleveland.com
  5. dayton.com
  6. toledo.com

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