Press Release


Karen Staser, President and Founder of the National Museum of Women's History, today announced the first annual "Women Making History" Awards. These awards honor living women who have made unusual or unheralded contributions to history in today's world.

This year's honorees are (in alphabetical order):

Pat Billings for her contribution to science, specifically the invention of a building material that is both indestructible and fire proof.

Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo for her contribution to aviation as the first women hired as a pilot by a commercial airline.

Elaine Chao for her contribution to diversity and ethics as the highest ranking Asian Pacific American ever appointed in the Executive Branch. As the president of United Way, she restored public trust and instituted dramatic new reforms that were recognized by the National Charities Information Bureau.

Elizabeth Dole for her contribution to women's advancement in government as the first female Secretary of Transportation.

Geraldine Ferraro for her contribution to politics and as the first woman to run on the presidential ticket for a major political party.

Elinor Guggenheimer for her contribution to advocacy for women as the founder of the National Women's Forum, the International Women's Forum, New York's Agenda, the Day Care Council of New York, the Council of Senior Centers and Services, and the Child Care Action Campaign.

Bernadine Healy, M.D. for her contribution to medicine as the first (and only) female director of the National Institutes of Health.

Dorothy Height for her contribution to the advancement of African American women worldwide and her leadership of the YWCA and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW).

Billie Jean King for her contribution to the world of sports as the first woman commissioner in professional sports, the first woman to coach a co-ed team, and the first female athlete to earn more than $100,000 in a single season.

Virginia H. Knauer for her contribution to the advancement of women in government as the first female director of the Office of Consumer Affairs.

Carol Sadie Shapiro for her contribution to medicine as the first female to head the Virginia Medical Society.

Muriel Siebert for her contribution to the advancement of women in finance as the first female member of the New York Stock Exchange.

Phyllis Hill Slater for her contribution to diversity and business as the first African American to serve as president of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

Helen Thomas for her contribution to journalism as the first woman president of the White House Correspondents Association (1975-1976) and the first female member, then president, of the Gridiron Club.

Marilyn vos Savant for her contribution to changing stereotypes about women as the person with the highest IQ ever recorded for both childhood and adult scores.