Melinda Gates (b. 1964) is a philanthropist and former general manager of
Microsoft. Along with her husband, Bill Gates, she is the co-founder of the
largest private charitable organisation in the world.
She studied computer science and economics
at Duke University, and started working for Microsoft soon after graduation. The
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, founded in 2000, works to alleviate extreme poverty
and provide healthcare around the world.
Lydia Moss Bradley (1816-1908) was the
first woman to become a board member of a national bank in the United States. She
was also a well-known philanthropist, funding a variety of causes and social
Among her many projects were parks,
hospitals, and a care centre for widows and old women. She established Bradley
University in 1896, still an institution of higher education today. In
addition, she was one of the first women in the US to draft a prenuptial
agreement to protect her personal assets after marriage.
Angela Burdett-Coutts (1814-1906) was one of the most famous and wealthiest women in England during the reign of Queen Victoria. She used most of her wealth to finance a variety of humanitarian causes.
Along with Charles Dickens, she was the founder of Urania Cottage, a house for young women who had been forced to turn to prostitution. She also founded the Westmnister Technical Institute and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and later became a pioneer of social housing, creating housing developments throughout London.