In our ongoing celebration of Illinois’ 200th birthday this year, we look at some amazing women, from many walks of life, with strong connections to northern Illinois, past or present. See if you can match the description to the name.
Lottie Holman O’Neill
Willa Beach Brown
Leona Woods Marshall Libby, Ph.D.
Mary Ann Bickerdyke
1. She fought for better treatment of immigrants, juveniles, laborers and women, and won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. She was born and buried in Cedarville, Ill.
2. She was the first black female American to earn a private pilot’s license and fought to integrate the Army Air Corps (now the U.S. Air Force.) Her flight school in Chicago trained black pilots who flew during World War II.
3. This native of LaGrange was the lone woman in a scientific group that built the first nuclear reactor and atomic bomb.
4. She and her mother “chain migrated” here from Sweden to join her father in 1941 Fox Lake, before she became a famous Hollywood singer/actress, starring in films that include “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Carnal Knowledge” and “Grumpy Old Men.”
5. This longtime Downers Grove resident was elected the first woman member of the Illinois General Assembly in 1922 – just two years after Illinois women got the vote – and served for 40 years. She was dubbed our “conscience of the senate.”
6. This early settler led a defense of Apple River Fort in Jo Daviess County from Indian attack, showing “cool-headed courage” and getting a city named after her.
7. In 1961, she founded Chicago’s Ebony Museum, now the DuSable Museum of African-American History.
8. This Freeport native became a successful stage and film actress, and filled the title role of “Ally McBeal” on TV. She married an actor who was born in Chicago: Harrison Ford.
9. This retired figure skater and Chicago native is a three-time U.S. National Champion and the 1976 Olympic Champion and 1976 World Champion in ladies’ singles.
10. This hospital administrator for the Union Army built 300 hospitals and aided the wounded on 19 Civil War battlefields. At Union Gen. Sherman’s request, she rode at the head of the XV Corps in the Grand Review of the Armies in Washington, D.C., at the end of the Civil War. She lived mostly in Galesburg, Ill.
11. This Elgin native professionalized the field of library science and assumed a dual role as University of Illinois Head Librarian and Head of the Department of the Illinois State Library School.
12. This Chicagoan was the first black writer in history to receive a Pulitzer Prize.
13. This native of Belvidere is an award-winning architect who designed Chicago’s Aqua Tower and urban buildings in other major cities.
14. This Chicago businesswoman is the president of Ariel Investments LLC, a CBS News business contributor and chairman of After School Matters, a program for Chicago youths. She’s also Mrs. George “Star Wars” Lucas.
15. This Tony Award-winning actress is a native of Rochelle, Ill., and has appeared in major films like “The Notebook,” “Pleasantville,” “Nixon,” “The Contender” and the “Bourne Identity” franchise.
1. Jane Addams, 1860-1935
2. Willa Beach Brown, 1906-1992
3. Leona Woods Marshall Libby, Ph.D. 1919-1986
4. Ann-Margaret Olsson, 1941-present
5. Lottie Holman O’Neill, 1878-1967
6. Elizabeth Armstrong, unknown
7. Margaret Burroughs, 1915-2010
8. Calista Flockhart, 1964-present
9. Dorothy Hamill, 1956-present
10. Mary Ann Bickerdyke 1817-1901
11. Katharine Sharp, 1865-1914
12. Gwendolyn Brooks, 1917-2000
13. Jeanne Gang, 1964-present
14. Mellody Hobson, 1969-present
15. Joan Allen, 1956-present