A Celebration of Mothers!

As Mother's Day approaches, we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some very important, influential and inspirational women in history, sports, medicine, the arts, and beyond... all of whom are also mothers. 
  • Ashley Nackos
  • May 02, 2024


We're starting off with some of the most impactful mother's who helped shaped our history. 

1. Julia Ward Howe is known as the mother of Mother's Day. She was a prominent abolitionist, suffragist, and writer who wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation. The Proclamation urged all women to come together for world peace. It built on the original idea of Mother's Day in the United States, which was for women to stand together after the Civil War had left many mothers grieving for their sons and husbands. Julia was a mother to six children of her own. She lost her mother at a young age and was raised by her aunt. 

2. Abigail Smith Adams was an extraordinary advocate for women born in 1744. She fought for girls to have equal access to public school education as boys. After marrying John Adams, she assisted in managing the family finances alongside her husband while also raising their five children - three sons and two daughters. Abigail often found herself alone, taking care of the children for long periods, which is an admirable accomplishment.

3. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a key figure in the women's suffrage movement in the United States. Her love for her children and frustration with being confined to the home during her time period motivated her to fight against the "absolute tyranny" men held over women. She fought for various rights such as women's property ownership, the right to vote, the right to divorce without losing custody of children, the right to earn wages, and much more. Stanton is a prominent figure in the women's rights movement and a devoted mother who wanted to create a more level playing field for her children and others. She had eight children of her own.

4. Sojourner Truth was the first Black woman to sue and win against a white man. She was an abolitionist, women's rights activist, and evangelist. One of her children was sold into slavery, but with the help of an abolitionist family, she sued the slave traders and won, securing her son's freedom.

5. Irena Sendler was a Polish employee at the Warsaw Social Welfare Department and smuggled almost 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust, saving their lives. She provided false IDs and non-Jewish identities for Jewish children and placed them in Christian homes, orphanages, and convents. Although the Nazis arrested, tortured, and sentenced her to execution, she didn’t reveal the whereabouts of the children or the inner workings of her smuggling operation. She was also mother of three children herself.

6. Michelle Obama- Grammy award- winning author, lawyer, mother and former first lady of the United States from 2009-2017. Bringing to life initiatives like Move!, Joining Forces, Reach Higher and Let Girls Learn, she is an inspiration for girls and women worldwide who dare to dream of higher education.

7. Candy Lightner Suffered the loss of one of her 13- year-old twin daughters in a hit-and-run by a drunk driver. The driver, who had three prior convictions for drunk driving, was arrested just two days earlier for a hit-and-run incident. Within a few months, Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to not only help the victims of drunk drivers but to end drunk driving by passing tougher legislation. Through its work to raise awareness and get legislation passed, MADD has helped save hundreds of thousands of lives. 

8. Tammy Duckworth Senator Tammy Duckworth is well-known for her service and sacrifices as a veteran. In 2004, while flying a Black Hawk to her base in Iraq, she was attacked and lost both of her legs. She didn't let her new normal stop her from living her life. She became a first-time mother at the age of 46 and now has two daughters. After having her own children she was inspired to start the Friendly Airports For Mothers Act, which makes it easier for breastfeeding moms to travel.


Our next group of MVP mothers have made significant contributions to modern medicine and science.

1. Marie Curie is best known for being the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, which she did twice, and in two different categories. Her groundbreaking research led to the discovery of polonium and radium, which revolutionized the study of radiation. She also played a crucial role in the development of X-rays. Marie had two children and unfortunately, her husband passed away shortly after the birth of their second daughter, leaving her to raise them alone. Despite this challenge, both of her daughters inherited her intelligence and went on to receive honors for their own work.

2. Rebecca Lee Crumpler In 1864, she became the first Black woman in the U.S. to earn a medical degree, which was a "doctress of medicine". She published "A Book of Medical Discourses" in 1883, which detailed her medical knowledge and experience in treating women and young children. This was a significant milestone as it was one of the first medical books written by a female physician. Rebecca had one daughter who passed away at a young age.

3. Dr. Dana Suskind is a widowed mother of three and a pediatric otolaryngologist and surgeon at the University of Chicago. She is best known for her pioneering work in establishing the pediatric cochlear implant program at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital. This program has been life-changing for those who are born without the ability to hear. She also founded the Thirty Million Words Initiative to encourage parents to talk frequently to their babies. Her research suggests that talking and interacting with babies during their first three years is critical for their brain growth and development.

4. Rosalyn Yalow is an American medical physicist who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine in 1977 for the development of the radioimmunoassays (RIA) technique, which is used to measure peptide hormones in the blood. Yalow’s diagnostic technique was so precise that it was used to scan blood donations for infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. This was fundamental in ensuring life-saving blood transfusions were safe and effective. Later, the method allowed scientists to prove that type-2 diabetes is caused by the body not being able to use insulin properly. She was a mother to two children and kept a kosher home. Yalow did not believe in "balancing her career with her home life" and instead incorporated her home life wherever she could in her work life.

5. Dr. Jennifer Heintzche - Refusing to take the word "infertile" as her diagnosis of unexplained infertility in 2017, Dr. Jenn and her husband Ryan invented and conceived their daughter using their patent-pending PherDal kit in just two months. PherDal aims to bridge the gap between traditional conception and more invasive, expensive fertility treatments offered in clinics by offering the first sterile FDA-cleared over-the-counter assisted reproduction kit of its kind.


This group of MVPs highlights the amazing capabilities of a woman's body.

1. Serena Williams is considered the best women's tennis player of all time, has 23 Grand Slam titles. Her return to tennis in 2018 after giving birth led to a new WTA rule allowing players to use previous rankings for tournaments after childbirth or injury. Serena has won over $90 million in her career and is an advocate for equal prize money for female tennis players. She has launched clothing and jewelry lines, opened two schools in Kenya, and invested in tech companies with Serena Ventures.
2. Alysia Montano is a six-time USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships 800 metres champion. She gained significant publicity for the 2014 race, which she competed in while eight months pregnant.
3. Kerri Walsh-Jennings With 135 wins and four Olympic medals, she is the most successful beach volleyball player in history. She is known as "Six Feet of Sunshine" and is a mother of three children whom she had during her successful volleyball career.
4. Candace Parker is a mother of two (with one on the way!) and is widely regarded as one of the greatest WNBA players of all time. She played 13 seasons with the Sparks, two seasons with the Chicago Sky, and one season with the Las Vegas Aces, winning a championship with each team. She gave birth to her daughter just before her second WNBA season and recently said in her retirement speech, "I always wanted to walk off the court with no parade or tour, just privately with the ones I love. What now was to be my last game, I walked off the court with my daughter. I ended the journey just as I started it, with her," she said.
5. Sydney Leroux 
Sydney Rae Leroux is a Canadian-born American professional soccer player, World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist who currently plays as a forward for Angel City FC in the National Women's Soccer League while also being a mother to two children.
6. Kristin Armstrong is a three-time Olympic gold medalist, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and mother of three. She holds the title of the most decorated female cyclist in US history and is the best time-trialist in sports history.
7. Jennie Finch is one of the most famous softball players of all time. Just six weeks after giving birth to her son, Jennie competed internationally. She helped lead Team USA to a gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics and a silver medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
8. Dana Vollmer is a 7x Olympic medalist. At the age of 12, she became the youngest swimmer to participate in the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials. She also made history by being the first American female swimmer to win a gold medal after giving birth, which she accomplished 17 months postpartum when she competed in Rio.


The term 'mompreneur' was introduced around 1994 and refers to a female business owner who actively balances the roles of a mother and an entrepreneur. Our next list of mothers are true Mompreneurs. 

1. Lisa Furuland Kotsianis Founder of multiple successful brands, including Sleepyhead DockATot, Aristot, Studio d'Elle, Studio LFK, Lalande Living, and coming soon, DockAPet, Lisa is also a decorated award winner for her innovative designs. She is mother to two boys who were her inspiration for the original "baby lounger."

2. Madam CJ Walker was the first self-made female millionaire in the United States.She developed a line of hair care products specifically designed for Black women. She was a trailblazer during the Harlem Renaissance, known for creating a welcoming environment where LGBTQ+ artists could express themselves freely and flourish. Her extravagant parties were more than just social events - they were a celebration of diversity, creativity, and inclusivity. After Madam's passing, her daughter took over as president of her hair products company.

3. Sarah Blakely is a successful entrepreneur and mother of four who revolutionized the shapewear industry with her innovative product, and now global brand, Spanx. She was recognized as one of Time's 100 most influential people and is renowned for her successful businesses and dedication to women's empowerment. She has also made a significant impact through her philanthropic work.

4. Angelina Jolie is as famous for her humanitarian work with refugees and education as she is for her acting career. Jolie became involved in humanitarian efforts for refugees and those displaced by conflict while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in Cambodia in 2000. She adopted children from Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Vietnam, in addition to her three biological children with ex-husband Brad Pitt. She once told The Wall Street Journal that when she had a day off, "the first thing she did was to get up and take the kids out. This was the most important task of the day. No matter how tired she might be, she planned outings for each and all."

5. Mary Kay Ash was 45 years old when she founded Mary Kay Cosmetics (1963), and it has since become a billion-dollar cosmetics company. She was one of the top sales directors at a home products company, but as a single mother of three, she was repeatedly passed over for promotions in her sales job. Ash used her skills to provide hundreds of thousands of women the opportunity to work as sales consultants for Mary Kay Cosmetics, becoming their own bosses.

6. Julia Hartz, a mother of three, co-founded Eventbrite, a leading event technology platform that has transformed the events industry. Her innovative ideas have made it easier for people to plan, promote, and enjoy events.

7. Rihanna (Robyn Rihanna Fenty) is a talented music artist. She is widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 21st century. In 2023, she headlined the Super Bowl LVII halftime show and announced that she was expecting her second child. Additionally, she is the founder of Fenty Beauty, a highly successful cosmetic line that has propelled her to billionaire status.

8. Ghazal Alagh, is the founder of MamaEarth, a popular brand offering toxin-free products for babies. Her eco-friendly vision has turned MamaEarth into a trusted name, and she has been recognized as one of India's top ten women achievers.

 It's important to remember that being a mother isn't just limited to biological ties. The love and care that we receive from mother figures in our lives can be just as significant and life-changing. As we conclude our Mother's Day campaign for this year, we wanted to recognize and celebrate the contributions of these "honorary mothers" who have played a very important "mother" role to so many.

1. Dolly Parton Dolly Parton is a legendary American performer who is widely recognized as one of the most successful and beloved personalities in the entertainment industry. She has launched several initiatives to support underprivileged children in their education. Notably, she founded the Imagination Library, a program that sends children a free book every month. Despite not having children of her own, she is affectionately known as "Mother" to countless individuals worldwide who look up to her as a nurturing and guiding figure.

2. Oprah Gail Winfrey, often known simply as Oprah, is an American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist.

3. Mother Teresa- Her dedication to helping the poorest and sickest communities in Kolkata (then Calcutta) earned Mother Teresa widespread fame and numerous honors, including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. Mother Teresa did not have any children. As a Catholic nun, she took a vow of chastity, which meant she was not to enter into any romantic relations or participate in sexual activities.

4. Virginia Apgar Dr. Virginia Apgar developed a standardized test to evaluate the health of newborns. The test, called the Apgar score, assesses the baby's heart rate, muscle tone, skin color, breathing and reflexes within the first minute of birth. This score helps healthcare providers identify newborns who require immediate medical attention. Even after several decades since its introduction, hospitals worldwide continue to use the Apgar score to promote healthy newborns and reduce infant mortality rates. Apgar never married or had children.

5. Taylor Swift Taylor Alison Swift is a popular American singer-songwriter who has a huge fanbase. Her music has had a significant impact on the music industry, popular culture, and even politics. She is known for her songwriting, artistry, entrepreneurship, and advocacy. Swift started her professional songwriting career when she was just 14 years old.

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