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Women of Influence

What women have influenced your life?
A Relative? Teacher? Business Mentor? Fictional Character? Leader? Friend? Tell us who has had a profound impact on your life and why they mattered so. It can be a few lines or a few pages. If you wish them or you to remain anonymous, that's OK too. Just let us know.

Angie Harmon - Lindsay Boxer

I've read the Women's Murder Club books for years and always admired how Lindsay Boxer handled herself. Now that I've seen the TV show and how Angie Harmon plays the character, I like her even more.

She is strong, smart, fit, attractive and doesn't back down when the situation gets tough.

And she has a group of other strong women that she is very close with both on a professional and personal level.


Not Them

Can I tell you who I am not influenced by? Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and dozens of other "celebrities" who, though they are very different from most "real" women, somehow are seen as ideal representatives of our gender.


Hermione Granger

I know she's not real but I like the fact that she is smart and not afraid to show it. My daughters love the Harry Potter books and to have a smart girl like Hermione for them to model is refreshing.

I hope that now that she is maturing, they don't dumb her down


Hillary Rodham Clinton

I know many people absolutely hate her but she has come farther in the political process than any other woman in US history.

She managed to keep her family in tact with a philandering husband and is the favorite for the highest office in the country.

When we tell young people that anyone can become president, Hillary has made it believeable for over 1/2 the population - the women.


Anita Bryant

Anita Bryant has taught me to never give up no matter how tough times get. No matter how many times people disappoint you, knock you down, "slap you in the face", just pick yourself up and life goes on.

I admire her for all she has been through and she won't let it defeat her. That is the kind of person I have become, especially after reading her book "A New Day". Thanks, Anita.......you've made me strong.

Donna Akers

Jean Walsh

The woman that has influenced my life the most is my mother. Her vast amount of courage, her power of positive thinking and her dedication to her family have been just a few her her outstanding attributes that have influenced not only myself, but a lot of people around her.

She has taught me that anything is possible and no matter what, God is always in our lives and with us no matter what.

Her enthusiasm for life inspires me so much, she is my best friend and teacher!!!

Kathie Walsh Kintz

Dorothy Fuldheim

She was one grand lady - a great commentator. I read all 3 of her books, they were fantastic. I learned so much.

She was a personal friend of my father-in-law and you had to be a good person to be that. She was a brilliant woman.

Betty McArthur

Mary Jane (Wagner) Kelly

My Mother, Mary Jane (Wagner) Kelly, was the greatest teacher I ever had! She wanted to be a history teacher, but never made it to college. Instead, she always passed along bits of information to her 6 children on just about every topic.

Whenever we went on a car trip, she shared information from what Indian tribe inhabited the area & famous people were from there, to what river we were crossing & other geographical data. She was very intelligent and retained all kinds of interesting facts. She also was the person who taught me how to be strong in the face of adversity.

She passed away in September 2000. On the trip back to her hometown this past weekend for a family reunion, I found myself passing on the tales she had told me. She was very special and thinking of her strength always helps me through the rough times.

Colleen Kelly

Erma Bombeck

Erma Bombeck always made me laugh. Her humor got me through some rough times when I was raising my five kids.

And when she got sick, she never lost her sense of humor. She kept on fighting and laughing till the end. What an inspiration she was.

Jean Walsh

Mrs. Winters, my 7th grade math teacher

As I look back, Mrs. Winters was my first mentor. Of course at that age I didn't know what a mentor was.

But she took a deep interest in all her students and she encouraged so many of us, especially the girls, not to hold back in our pursuit of excellence. At that age we were discovering boys and were reluctant to raise our hands and appear too "smart." With her encouragement I didn't have to hide my interest and expertise in science or anything else.

Those ideas stuck with me as I progressed through high school, college and into the business world. Thank you, Mrs. Winters.

Tammy Johnson

Ruth O'Malley

I was always stimulated after a visit to Ruth's or even a phone call. She raised a large family and still had time for her many friends and interests. She was always into something, new project, new idea or something stimulating. I miss her.



When I was growing up there was a family in our neighborhood. The parents drank heavily. The mother was sloppy and a bad mouthed drunk. She would yell, swear and scream so the whole neighborhood could hear her.

Susanne was about 4 years older than I. She never seemed ashamed of her mom's antics, and was always very kind and caring to her.

She herself was always very neat and clean and the whole neighborhood loved her. She was such a role models for us younger kids.


Dorothy Fuldheim

To me, Dorothy was the ultimate Women. Self sufficient, intelligent, sense of humor, charming and articulate.

She was able to hold people of all ages spell bound with her book reports and stories.

She was practical but also a visionary. She was a one of a kind woman.


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