While a handful of women have appeared on coin and special editions over the years – Susan B. Anthony, Sacagawea, and Helen Keller, for example – the number of women depicted on US currency is increasing significantly.
From 2022 to 2025, the US Mint will release up to five new quarterly drafts featuring historically significant women each year. Here are the women honored in 2022.
The acclaimed author and poet Maya Angelou is best known for her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”. The book was recognized by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 best and most influential non-fiction books.
As a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Angelou also worked with Dr. Martin Luther King as coordinator of his organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She was also the first African American woman to read an original poem at the President’s inauguration.
Dr. Sally Ride
The astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, inspired generations of girls to pursue careers in science and technology. Ride flew the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983 and 1984.
In 2013, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. After her death, Ride was found to be a lesbian, which made her the first LGBTQ person to perform in a U.S. neighborhood.
As the chief chieftain of the Cherokee, Wilma Mankiller is the first woman ever to be elected chief of a large Indian tribe. She oversaw the growth of the Cherokee nation from 68,000 members to 170,000.
Mrs. Magazine named Wilma Woman of the Year in 1987 and President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998.
As one of the few Hispanic suffragists in history, Nina Otero-Warren helped publish suffragist literature in Spanish and encouraged Hispanic women to vote. She also served as the chairman of the New Mexico health department, served on the board of directors of the American Red Cross, and was the inspector of the Santa Fe County Indian Schools, which oversaw schools for Native American children.
Anna May Wong
As the first Chinese-American film star in Hollywood, Anna May Wong paved the way for countless other Asian actors. She starred in Broadway plays and in American and European films. Anna was also a fashion icon and was once named the best dressed woman in the world.
She has appeared in films and plays with acting legends such as Laurence Olivier, Douglas Fairbanks and Marlene Dietrich. Although Hollywood remained a hostile environment for colored people during her time, Wong stood up against Chinese stereotypes and advocated fairer portrayals.
Zina Kumok (148 posts)
Zina Kumok is a freelance writer who specializes in personal finance. As a former reporter, she has covered murder trials, the Final Four, and everything in between. It has been featured in Lifehacker, DailyWorth, and Time. Read how she paid off $ 28,000 in student loans at Conscious Coins in three years.