The Greatest Modern Day Renaissance Women

Over 1.1K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Greatest Modern Day Renaissance Women
Voting Rules
Vote up the most multifaceted modern day women.

The modern woman is expected to do it all, from juggling careers to picking up the kids at school. It's a lot of pressure to be under. Fortunately, we have an extraordinary group of multi-talented renaissance women from around the world to help guide us in the art of Being Good at Everything.

From pop culture royalty like Oprah to actual royalty like Queen Margrethe of Denmark (also a renowned linguist), and actresses who play scientists to real scientists (who are also astronauts, teachers, and authors), these women have mastered effortlessly switching careers. In balancing science, medicine, entertainment, and politics at the same time, they set an example for all of us to follow and break down barriers that have professionally held women back for generations.

This list is full of modern day renaissance women who have achieved greatness in multiple fields at once. Some are women you've definitely heard of, while others work away from the spotlight, doing things that have changed the world.


  • Mae Jemison
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    1
    300 VOTES
    Mae Carol Jemison (born October 17, 1956) is an American engineer, physician and former NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel in space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Jemison joined NASA's astronaut corps in 1987 and was selected to serve for the STS-47 mission, during which she orbited the Earth for nearly eight days on September 12–20, 1992. Born in Alabama and raised in Chicago, Jemison graduated from Stanford University with degrees in chemical engineering as well as African and African-American studies. She then earned her medical degree from Cornell University. Jemison was a doctor for the Peace Corps in Liberia and ...more
    • Age: 66
    • Birthplace: Decatur, Alabama, United States of America
    • Profession: Professor, Astronaut, Scientist, Physician
    • Schools: Stanford University, Cornell University, Morgan Park High School
    • Major/Field Of Study: Chemical Engineering
    300 votes
  • Julie Andrews
    Photo: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock
    2
    241 VOTES
    Dame Julie Andrews, (born 1 October 1935) is an English actress, singer and author. Andrews, a child actress and singer, appeared in the West End in 1948 and made her Broadway debut in The Boy Friend (1954). Billed as “Britain’s youngest prima donna”, she rose to prominence starring in Broadway musicals such as My Fair Lady (1956) playing Eliza Doolittle, and Camelot (1960) playing Queen Guinevere. In 1957, Andrews starred in the premiere of Rodgers and Hammerstein's written-for-television musical Cinderella, a live, network broadcast seen by over 100 million viewers. Andrews made her feature film debut in Mary Poppins (1964), and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance ...more
    • Age: 87
    • Birthplace: Walton-on-Thames, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Theatre Director, Author, Actor, Voice acting, Singer
    • Credits: Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Shrek 2, Despicable Me
    241 votes
  • Oprah Winfrey
    Photo: Ian Evenstar / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0
    3
    271 VOTES
    Oprah Gail Winfrey (born Orpah Gail Winfrey, January 29, 1954) is an American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, broadcast from Chicago, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and ran in national syndication for 25 years from 1986 to 2011. Dubbed the "Queen of All Media", she was the richest African American of the 20th century and North America's first black multi-billionaire, and has been ranked the greatest black philanthropist in American history. She has also been sometimes ranked as the most influential woman in the world.Winfrey was born into ...more
    • Age: 69
    • Birthplace: Kosciusko, Mississippi, United States of America
    • Profession: Businessperson, Journalist, Television producer, Film Producer, Actor
    • Schools: Nicolet High School, Tennessee State University, East Literature Magnet School
    • Credits: The Color Purple, A Wrinkle in Time, Selma
    271 votes
  • 4
    119 VOTES

    Temple Grandin

    Mary Temple Grandin (born August 29, 1947) is an American professor of animal science at Colorado State University, consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior, and autism spokesperson. She is one of the first individuals on the autism spectrum to publicly share insights from her personal experience of autism. Grandin has authored over 60 peer reviewed scientific papers on animal behavior, and is a prominent proponent for the humane treatment of livestock for slaughter. She also invented the "Hug Box" device to calm those on the autism spectrum. In the 2010 Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, she was named in the "Heroes" category. She was ...more
    • Age: 75
    • Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
    • Profession: Professor, Screenwriter, Scientist, Author, Consultant
    • Schools: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Hampshire Country School, Arizona State University, Franklin Pierce College
    • Credits: In the Woods, ARTS: A Film About Possibilities, Disabilities & the Arts
    119 votes
  • Ellen Ochoa
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    5
    104 VOTES
    Ellen O. Ochoa (born May 10, 1958) is an American engineer, former astronaut and former Director of the Johnson Space Center. Ochoa became director of the center upon the retirement of the previous director, Michael Coats, on December 31, 2012. In 1993 Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.
    • Age: 65
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
    • Profession: Astronaut, Engineer
    • Schools: Grossmont High School, Stanford University, San Diego State University
    • Major/Field Of Study: Physics, Electrical engineering
    104 votes
  • 6
    189 VOTES
    Angelina Jolie (; née Voight, formerly Jolie Pitt, born June 4, 1975) is an American actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian. The recipient of such accolades as an Academy Award and three Golden Globe Awards, she has been named Hollywood's highest-paid actress multiple times. Jolie made her screen debut as a child alongside her father, Jon Voight, in Lookin' to Get Out (1982), and her film career began in earnest a decade later with the low-budget production Cyborg 2 (1993), followed by her first leading role in a major film, Hackers (1995). She starred in the critically acclaimed biographical cable films George Wallace (1997) and Gia (1998), and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting ...more
    • Age: 48
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, USA, California
    • Profession: Film Producer, Model, Screenwriter, Author, Actor
    • Schools: Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, El Rodeo School, New York University, William O. Schaefer Elementary School, Beverly Hills High School
    • Major/Field Of Study: Filmmaking
    • Credits: Maleficent, Changeling, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Salt
    189 votes