1838 - 1917
for three years as the last royal monarch of Hawaii before
she was overthrown by a group of American businessmen
and the Hawaiian islands were annexed by the United States.
She was put under house arrest and forced to swear allegiance
to the new regime. Later in her life, she spent her time
working with charities and supporting native Hawaiian
health and educational efforts. Her life is an unusual
but apt illustration of some of the difficulties for wealthy
women in positions of influence.
first black woman millionaire. She founded a cosmetics
and hair care company, which was the first to cater specifically
to black women. Her company went on to create jobs for
thousands of women. Throughout her life she gave generously
to civic causes, particularly education.
her husband's death in 1906, Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage
inherited $63 million dollars, making her the richest
woman in America.
Her husband had been notorious as a miser who had opposed
charity in any form. Margaret, however, had different
ideas: she became the first woman in the United
States to form a major
foundation (which she named, ironically, after her husband).
Only Rockefeller and Carnegie had larger endowed foundations
at the time. Margaret Sage was a champion of women's rights,
and had an abiding commitment to promote social and political
reform. An innovator who pioneered some of the best practices
now accepted in strategic philanthropy, Ms. Sage worked
at addressing the root causes of poverty, and supported
academic research aimed at changing public policy.
Muther was one of the few women to be an officer of a
large, publicly held corporation, and from this experience
became committed to using her business expertise to advance
the position of women. She has started a business "incubator"
that provides critical support to new, women-owned information
technology companies; invested in two of the nation's
few women-led venture capital funds; and given grants
to the Stanford Graduate School of Business to help them
develop women faculty.
and investing are complementary methods of promoting social
change - in my case, leveraging resources for women and
girls," Ms. Muther says.
the many organizations Caroline Newhouse supports is Career
Transition for Dancers, a nonprofit group that helps professional
dancers overcome the often traumatic experience of finishing
their careers at an early age. As a sculptor and painter,
Newhouse had many young dancers as models and admired
their passionate commitment.
wealth comes from a communications business her husband
helped to found, which includes 26 newspapers, Random
House book publishers, and Conde Nast magazines.
a fact of life," Newhouse says. "There are much
richer people than I am, but I have enough to help. It
never occurred to me not to give it away."
of the 1998 Leadership for Equity and Diversity Award
from Women & Philanthropy, Jean Fairfax has accomplished
much in her 78 years. She has worked for racial and gender
justice on many fronts, including with the American Friends
Service Committee, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational
Fund, World Council of Churches, National Public Radio,
Since the 1970s, she has become increasingly active in
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