The reason Emmett Till's murder played such a consequential role in the Civil Rights movement is because of choices of his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley. For more than 45 years after his murder, she continually worked to make sure he did not die in vain.
After her initial "smashings," Carry A. Nation became a full-time activist, traveling from town to town to destroy saloons and preach temperance. She turned her fame into a good income, and used much of that money to set up women’s shelters.
Australian Kellerman gets a lot of the credit for developing the women's one-piece bathing suit. But she was also a competitive swimmer, as well as a vaudeville and film star who designed her own mermaid costumes.
In the late 18th century, Sarah Ponsonby and Lady Eleanor Butler, also known as the Ladies of Llangollen, abandoned their life in the upper tiers of Irish society and made a home for themselves in Wales. And they became rather famous in the process.
There's really not a lot concretely known about the life of Aphra Behn, who, in addition to being a spy, was a dramatist, poet, novelist, translator, and the first woman in English literature known to have made her living as a writer.
Khutulun's story is a little bit cloudy, in part because it’s many hundreds of years old, and in part because accounts of her life involve a combination of propaganda and an outsider’s interpretation of it.