Eva Perón

(b. May 7, 1919, Los Toldos, Arg.-d. July 26, 1952, Buenos Aires) Eva Duarte de Perón was the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón. During her husband’s first term as president (1946–52), she became a powerful though unofficial political leader, revered by the lower economic classes, who knew her…

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Rosalyn S. Yalow

(b. July 19, 1921, New York, N.Y., U.S.) The American medical physicist Rosalyn Sussman Yalow was a joint recipient (with Andrew V. Schally and Roger Guillemin) of the 1977 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, awarded for her development of the radioimmunoassay (RIA), an extremely sensitive technique for measuring minute…

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Nadine Gordimer

(b. Nov. 20, 1923, Springs, Transvaal, S.Af.) The South African novelist and short-story writer Nadine Gordimer examined the theme of exile and alienation in her works; she received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. Gordimer was born into a privileged white middleclass family and began reading at an early…

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Elizabeth II

(b. April 21, 1926, London, Eng.) Elizabeth II reigned as the queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from Feb. 6, 1952. Elizabeth II, born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, was the elder daughter of Albert, duke of York, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. As the child…

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Indira Gandhi

(b. Nov. 19, 1917, Allahabad, India-d. Oct. 31, 1984, New Delhi) Indira Gandhi served as prime minister of India for three consecutive terms (1966–77) and a fourth term (1980–84). She was assassinated by Sikh extremists. Indira Priyadarshini Nehru was the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of…

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Lucille Ball

(b. Aug. 6, 1911, Celoron, near Jamestown, N.Y., U.S.-d. April 26, 1989, Los Angeles, Calif.) The radio and motion-picture actress Lucille Ball (in full Lucille Désirée Ball) was a longtime comedy star of American television, best remembered for her classic television comedy series I Love Lucy. Ball determined at an…

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Annie Jump Cannon

(b. Dec. 11, 1863, Dover, Del., U.S.-d. April 13, 1941, Cambridge, Mass.) Annie Jump Cannon was an American astronomer who specialized in the classification of stellar spectra. Cannon was the oldest daughter of Wilson Cannon, a Delaware state senator, and Mary Jump. She studied physics and astronomy at Wellesley College,…

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Diana, Princess of Wales

(b. July 1, 1961, Sandringham, Norfolk, Eng.-d. Aug. 31, 1997, Paris, France) One of the best-loved women of the 20th century was Diana, princess of Wales, the former consort (1981–96) of Charles, prince of Wales, and mother of the heir second in line to the British throne, Prince William of…

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Anne Frank

(b. June 12, 1929, Frankfurt am Main, Ger.—d. March 1945, Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, near Hannover) Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl who wrote a diary of her family’s two years in hiding during the German occupation of The Netherlands, personalized the Holocaust for generations of readers. The Diary of a…

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Cleopatra

(b. 70/69 BCE-d. August of 30 BCE, Alexandria, Egypt) Noted in history and drama as the lover of Julius Caesar and later the wife of Mark Antony, Cleopatra became queen on the death of her father, Ptolemy XII Auletes, in 51 BCE. She ruled successively with her two brothers, Ptolemy…

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