Taurus Leading Ladies
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Elizabeth II, Queen of England (April 21, 1926)
Elizabeth II has reigned as Queen of England since her coronation in June 1953. Arguably the world’s best-known monarch and one of only ten remaining monarchs in the world, Elizabeth rose to the throne in time to guide England from an empire to a commonwealth, a change believed to greatly benefit the country. She travels frequently, and is known among her closer associates for her extensive knowledge and her quick sense of humor.
Ella Fitzgerald, Singer (April 25, 1917)
After a rough start to her teen years, Ella Fitzgerald won her lucky break at the Apollo Theatre in New York, where she was selected at random to compete at the theatre’s Amateur Night. Making the last minute decision to sing, rather than dance for the crowd, Fitzgerald’s talent was immediately embraced and she discovered a sense of comfort in the spotlight. Fitzgerald’s gift soon turned into a career that would continue to boom for more than half a century and today she is remembered as a jazz legend.
Harper Lee, Writer (April 28, 1926)
Harper Lee is best known for her first and only novel,To Kill a Mockingbird, which was a Pulitzer Prize recipient. Lee’s novel handles the delicate topic of race relations in Alabama in the 1930s, narrated through the voice of a six-year-old girl nicknamed Scout. The novel is a poignant tale of morality and the pursuit of equality. It still holds much relevance today and over the years, has sold more than 30 million copies. In 2007, Lee was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for the novel.
Nellie Bly, Journalist and Traveler (May 5, 1864)
Considered the most rebellious child in a family of 15, Nellie Bly had a turbulent childhood. She found her independence working as a writer for a newspaper. By the age of 23, Bly defied societal expectations of a “woman’s place” by launching a successful reporting career while also pioneering a new kind of undercover, investigative journalism used to expose injustices. In 1899, Bly traveled the world in 76 days, defeating Jules Verne’s fictional hero of the story Around the World in Eighty Days.
Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State (May 15, 1937)
Madeleine Albright was the 64th U.S. Secretary of State and the first woman to hold the title. She served from 1997 to 2001, after an initial four years as Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In office, Albright was dedicated to such causes as the upkeep of democracy, human rights, and arms control. Since the tenure of her position, Albright has become a bestselling author and serves on the boards of various foundations and institutes.
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