Coretta Scott King

Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.
— Coretta Scott King

Beloved widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the age of 41 with 4 children. Her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, was assassinated and the largest voice for civil rights in the 1960’s. She played a prominent role in the years after her husband’s death when she took on the leadership of the struggle for racial equality herself and became active in the Women’s Movement. All while raising her children. She was a force for good and carried on her late husband’s work and created her own legacy by moving forward and reaching back. She’s a Gandhi Peace Prize winner and her funeral was attended by over 10K people, including four of the five living U.S. Presidents.

Learn more about: Coretta Scott King


Veuve Cliquot

Let life surprise you.
— Veuve Cliquot

Madame Clicquot (aks Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin) was married to Francois Clicquot, who co-owned a vineyard in the Champagne country of France. 7 years after marriage, Francois fell suddenly ill and died of typhoid at the age of 30 leaving the vineyard to Madame Clicquot who took over her husband’s business, becoming one the first business women in the early 1800’s to run an international business in a world dominated by men. She was the first woman to take over a champagne house and the first champagne producer. At the time, widows were the only women in French society to be free and to be allowed to run their business. The widow Clicquot was successful. Champagne has become a vehicle to celebrate events ever since. She invented the mushroom shaped cork we still use today.

Learn more about: Veuve Cliquot
IMAGE SOURCE: Léon Cogniet, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


Eleanor Roosevelt

We must look at hard things truthfully.
— Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt is best known for being the First Lady of the United States from 1933-1945. She married Franklin D. Roosevelt and became a widow April 12, 1945. Afterwards, she became the 1st Chair of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women which still exists today (Gina and Carolyn will be attending someday at the United Nations). She also was awarded to be the 1st U.S. Representative to the UN Commission on Human Rights in which she Chaired from 1947 until 1952. In other words, she became an American political figure, diplomat and activist in her own right. Harry S. Truman called her the “First Lady of the World” due to her big heart for the underserved around the world and human rights achievements. Upon her death, she was regarded as “one of the most esteemed women in the world”; The New York Times called her “the object of almost universal respect” in her obituary. In 1999, she was ranked in the top ten of Gallup’s List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century. I agree.

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Terri Irwin

When your hero dies, everything he stood for does not end. Everything he stood for must continue.
— Terri Irwin

Terri Irwin was married to Steve Irwin from the Crocodile Hunter documentary series and died in a freak stingray accident in 2006. She was a mum of 2 kiddos and afterwards, in full charge of the Australia Zoo. Today, she’s a naturalist, conservationist, author and owner of the Australian Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland. In 2014, She was a Queensland finalist for Australian of the Year.

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Osa Johnson

I often wear light blue to melt into the African sky, or shades of green and brown to blend into the jungle itself…under no circumstances is vivid red or white permissible. These are the colors not usually seen by Africa’s wild-life and a costume of either would stampede the animals!
— Osa Johnson

Osa Johnson was married to Martin Johnson, an American adventurer and filmmaker. Together they captured the public’s imagination through their films and books of adventure in exotic, faraway lands like East and Central Africa, the South Pacific Islandsnd North Borneo. Their long safaris were where the whole Ralph Lauren look originated. She became widowed when the plane that they were on from Las Vegas to Burbank crashed. Martin died and she survived. She went on to write a book “I Married Adventure” which became the best-selling book of 1940. She continued her work at a time when women were not respected to do so. She created 26 half-hour episodes called The Big Game Hunt. Her continued work to keep the adventures alive turned into the inspiration for Disney’s Lion King movie and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park and Animal Kingdom Lodge. There is a small museum within the Lodge if you ever go there. Their main museum is in Chanute, Kansas and worth the trip.

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Julia Child

Everybody is overreacting. If fear of food continues, it will be the death of gastronomy in the United States. Fortunately, the French don’t suffer from the same hysteria we do. We should enjoy food and have fun. It is one of the simplest and best pleasures in life.
— Julia Child

Everybody is overreacting. If fear of food continues, it will be the death of gastronomy in the United States. Fortunately, the French don’t suffer from the same hysteria we do. We should enjoy food and have fun. It is one of the simplest and best pleasures in life.— Julia ChildJulia Child was an American cooking teacher, author and TV personality. She introduced French cuisine to the American public in 1963. She became widowed in 1994 and lived to be 91. She became a popular TV personality of French inspired cooking well into the 60’s to 90’s. Butter and cream were her favorite ingredients, challenging the critics and nutritionists. Her late husband, Paul Child, designed her kitchen which now stands in the National Museum of American History. Her iconic copper pots and pans are on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in DC. In 2007, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. In 1995, she established the Julia Child Foundation giving grants that supported gastronomy and culinary arts.

Learn more about: Julia Child


MWC Legendary Award is given to one extraordinary person annually who goes above and beyond in serving to empower widows and their families around the world. They are of the highest excellence who possess the highest levels of virtue, nobility, humbleness, compassion, fortitude and the epitome of heroic leadership.
2020 Recipient

Margaret Owen

President & Founder, Widows for Peace through Democracy
2019 Recipient

Roseline Orwa

Founder, Rona Foundation