The focus of this entry in the Collective Biographies series is on womenten of themwho rose to the top in business. Three are African-Americans: Maggie L. Walker, the first woman (of any race) bank president; Madam C.J. Walker, an entrepreneur in the hair-care business who urged others as far back as 1914 not to "sit down and wait for opportunities to come . . . Get up and make them!"); and Oprah Winfrey, media mogul. Four of the women founded companies in which their husbands worked for many years: Olive Ann Beech (aviation), Ruth Handler (toys, including Barbie dolls), Eileen Ford (modeling agency), and Debbie Fields (cookies). Katherine Graham took over The Washington Post when her husband died.
Jeffrey (American Inventors of the 20th Century, 1995, etc.) makes eclectic choices; one challenge of including contemporary women is that they are not static and keep moving ahead (Alice Rivlin is profiled as Clinton's budget director, but was recently nominated for the Federal Reserve Board). These ambitious, determined women struggled, persevered, and succeeded. Any one of them is a good role model for young reeaders, but to have all of them covered in one volume has particular impact.