Women We Lost 2011

Willing Your Future

By Farren Davis

In 2011, we said goodbye to influential women who – whether famous or not – blazed trails and helped propel the rest of us forward. As we look to all the possibilities of the new year, we also salute those women who made their mark as top achievers, revolutionaries and groundbreaking advocates.

Dorothy Brunson (born 1939): As an American broadcaster, Brunson became the first African-American woman in the nation to own a radio station and television station when she bought WEBB-AM in Baltimore and established WGTW-TV near Philadelphia. 

Betty Skelton Erde (born 1926): Erde was an aerobatics pilot and land speed record holder, setting 17 aviation and automobile records. Her achievements were instrumental in breaking barriers and creating more opportunities for women in aviation, auto racing and astronautics.

Evelyn Handler (born 1933): Among many of her accomplishments, Handler became the first female president of the University of New Hampshire and was noted for bringing in $15 million in federal grants for a science and engineering research center at the institution. She also served as the first female president of Brandeis University where she helped build life sciences.

Bernadine Healy, (born 1944): An American physician, cardiologist, academic and former head of the National Institutes of Health. Healy was a Professor at Johns Hopkins University, professor and dean of the College of Medicine and Public Health at Ohio State University and served as president of the American Red Cross.

Evelyn Lauder (born 1936): Lauder was an American socialite, philanthropist and senior corporate VP of the Estee Lauder Companies. She was also the creator of the Clinique product line. Lauder helped establish the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and popularized the pink ribbon as the breast cancer awareness symbol.

Wangari Maathai (born 1940):
Wangari Maathai was an active environmentalist and humanitarian in east and central Africa where she became the first woman to earn her Ph.D. Most notably, Maathai received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 and was responsible for the creation of the Green Belt Movement, which helped women gain accessibility to natural resources and better manage their environment.

Amy Winehouse (born 1983): English singer-songwriter. Amy was the first British female to win five Grammys. She was named the 2007 best British female artist and was a three-time recipient of the Ivor Novello Award. Her album Back to Black is the UK’s top selling album of the 21st century, having sold more than 3 million copies.

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