Narrowing the list of Louisiana’s most influential women during the past century was like trying to rank the most mouth-watering gumbos found in this state, where a rich roux of cultures, influences and accomplishments has produced so many pioneers who have shaped our region and country.
Women have often been featured on Louisiana’s marquee, from the mythical Evangeline immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1847 poem to the late Gov. Kathleen Blanco, described by one state lawmaker “as our generation’s Evangeline.”
The USA TODAY Network is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, in which women gained the right to vote, by recognizing women from each state and the District of Columbia who had a significant influence at home and across the country as Women of the Century.
A panel of Louisiana historians, journalists, political pioneers and caretakers of our culture – all women – chose our top 10 from