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Women of the Hall

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First Name Last Name Year Honored Birth Death Born In Born In Country
Bertha Holt
Honored: 2002 (1904 - 2000)
A pioneer in international adoption, Bertha and her husband adopted 8 Korean children in addition to their own 6 children. The Holt Adoption program, later called Holt International Children's Services, was established in 1956 to help those interested in inter-country adoptions.
Bessie Smith
Honored: 1984 (1894 - 1937)
One the nation's great blues singers, Smith earned stardom from her first record 1923's "Down Hearted Blues," which sold two million records. The "Empress of the Blues," made more than 160 recordings with many of the country's finest jazz musicians.
Bessie Coleman
Honored: 2001 (1892 - 1926)
The first licensed black female aviator. She earned her international pilot's license in 1921 and gained fame during the next five years for her air acrobatics and highflying stunts. She dreamed of starting a school to train black aviators.
Betty Friedan
Honored: 1993 (1921 - 2006)
Reshaped American attitudes toward women's lives and rights through decades of social activism, strategic thinking and powerful writing. Her book The Feminine Mystique (1963) triggered the contemporary women's movement. Her latest work is the best-selling The Fountain of Age.
Betty Bumpers
Honored: 2005 (1925 - )
Former first lady of Arkansas, Betty Bumpers has dedicated herself to world peace and health initiatives for children across the United States. As First Lady of Arkansas, Mrs. Bumpers spearheaded an immunization program in her state that became a national model. She also co-founded Every Child by Two with Rosalynn Carter, a national immunization program. Mrs. Bumpers is active in the global campaign to eradicate polio.
Betty Ford
Honored: 2013 (1918 - 2011)
A groundbreaking First Lady, Betty Ford is often remembered for her candor in addressing the controversial issues of her time. Shortly after she became the First Lady of the United States in 1974, Ford was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a radical mastectomy. Rather than suppressing the diagnosis, Ford courageously shared her personal story and inspired countless women across the nation to get breast examinations. In 1978, following a family intervention, Ford underwent successful treatment for addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs. She again used her story to raise public awareness of addiction, and in 1982, she co-founded the Betty Ford Center to treat victims of alcohol and chemical dependency. Ford was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 and the Congressional Gold Medal, with President Gerald R. Ford, in 1999.
Betty Bone Schiess
Honored: 1994 (1923 - )
Religious leader. Schiess led the successful effort in 1974 to have women ordained as priests in the Episcopal Church in America, elevating the position of women in the Episcopal Church at all levels.
Beverly Sills
Honored: 1998 (1929 - 2007)
Acclaimed Soprano who became the first woman General Director and then President of the New York City Opera, and later first woman chair of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, guiding the Center to become one of the nation's most important institutions. She was not only directly responsible for the discovery and launch of many young performers, but was also actively involved in a myriad of humane works, including the National Victim Center and (as National Chair) the March of Dimes Mothers March on Birth Defects.
Billie Holiday
Honored: 2011 (1915 - 1959)
Considered by many to be one of the greatest jazz vocalists of all time, Billie Holiday forever changed the genres of jazz and pop with her unique style. Holiday began her career as a singer in Harlem nightclubs in 1931, without formal musical training. She went on to record and tour with a number of famous musicians like Benny Goodman and Lester Young, and officially began recording under her own name in 1936. Holiday, known for her deeply moving and personal vocals, remains a popular musical legend more than fifty years after her death.
Billie Jean King
Honored: 1990 (1943 - )
Dominated the world of tennis for more than 20 years, winning 20 Wimbledon titles, 13 U.S. Open titles and more. King was the founder of the Women's Tennis Association and helped create the Women's Sports Foundation.
National Women's Hall Event in Chicago