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Episode 79–part two, 11 Childless not by Choice Women who Changed the World

Episode 79–part two, 11 Childless not by Choice Women who Changed the World

Hello everyone! Civilla Morgan here! Welcome back to Childless, not by Choice, where my mission is to recognize and speak to the broken hearts of childless not by choice women, and men, around the world.  I am spreading the great news that we can live a joyful, relevant, and fulfilled life, although we could not, did not, have the children we so wanted.


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Welcome to part two of 10, 11 Childless not by Choice women who Changed the World

In this segment, we start the list with famed French Chef Julia Child!

Popular TV chef and author Julia Child was born on August 15, 1912, in Pasadena, California. In 1948, she moved to France where she developed a penchant for French cuisine. With a goal of adapting sophisticated French cuisine for mainstream Americans, she collaborated on a two-volume cookbook called Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which was considered groundbreaking, and has since become a standard guide for the culinary community. She also became a television icon with her popular cooking shows such as The French Chef

Child lived a privileged childhood. She was educated at San Francisco’s elite Katherine Branson School for Girls, where—at a towering height of 6 feet, 2 inches—she was the tallest student in her class. She was a lively prankster who, as one friend recalled, could be “really, really wild.” She was also adventurous and athletic, with talent in golf, tennis and small-game hunting.


In 1993, she was rewarded for her work when she became the first woman inducted into the Culinary Institute Hall of Fame. In November 2000, following a 40-year career that has made her name synonymous with fine food and a permanent among the world’s most famous chefs, Julia received France’s highest honor: The Legion d’Honneur. And in August 2002, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History unveiled an exhibit featuring the kitchen, where she filmed three of her popular cooking shows.

Child died in August 2004 of kidney failure at her assisted-living home in Montecito, two days before her 92nd birthday. Child had no intentions of slowing down, even in her final days. “In this line of work…you keep right on till you’re through,” she said. “Retired people are boring. “After her death Child’s last book, the autobiography My Life in France was published with the help of Child’s great nephew, Alex Prud’homme. The book, which centered on how Child discovered her true calling, became a best seller.

(My notes on Julia Child: Did you get that? Her autobiography was ‘centered on how Child discovered her true calling…’ have you discovered your true calling yet, because you have one.


Harriet Tubman (1822–1913) was an escaped slave who became a leading figure in the abolitionist movement. Harriet Tubman also served as a spy for the US army during the civil war and was an active participant in the struggle for women’s suffrage, an iconic symbol of courage and resistance to injustice, inspiring many generations of civil rights activists.

Tubman helped rescue over 70 slaves, in about 13 expeditions (and offering advice to many more). She often traveled in the darker winter months, making it easier to travel incognito by night. Because of the dangers on the road, she always took a revolver with her. She was also willing to use it to threaten any escaped slave who wished to go back because she knew returning would endanger all the escapees. She was proud never to lose an escaping slave on her expeditions. In April 2016, it was announced she would figure on the US $20 bill.


Eva Peron served as Argentina’s First lady from 1946 to 1952.  Eva Peron or ‘Evita’ became a powerful political figure with a large support base amongst the poor and working-class trade union members. She inspired millions with her campaigns to help the poor and give women the right to vote.

To her supporters, she was a saint who strove to overcome poverty and injustice. To her detractors (in the nation’s military and bourgeoisie) she was a controversial figure at the heart of Argentinian politics. Eva Peron remains an important symbol of emancipation, especially for women in Latin America. She was one of the first women to create a lasting political/humanitarian legacy. Christina Fernandez, the first female elected President of Argentina, claims that women of her generation owe a debt to Eva for “her example of passion and combativeness”.


Cicely Tyson is an award-winning film, television and stage actress. She is known for choosing quality roles that send positive messages to women of color.

Cicely Tyson was born in New York City on December 19, 1924 (although some believe her birth year to be 1933). She built a successful career by carefully choosing roles that exemplified quality and depth. She has won accolades and awards for her performances on TV, stage and in film, with credits including SounderRootsThe Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and The Help. Tyson has won two Emmy Awards and a Tony Award, among other honors, over the course of her acting career. She was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1977.

Tyson grew up in Harlem, New York. At the age of 18, she walked away from a typing job and began modeling. Tyson was then drawn to acting, though she had not been permitted to go to plays or movies as a child. When she got her first acting job, her religious mother, feeling that Tyson was choosing a sinful path, kicked her out of their home.

Despite her mother’s initial disapproval (the two didn’t speak for two years before reconciling), Tyson found success as an actress, appearing onstage, in movies and on TV.

Tyson was nominated for an Academy Award for 1972’s Sounder. She also portrayed notable roles on television, including Kunta Kinte’s mother in the adaptation of Alex Haley’s Roots and the title role in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, which earned Tyson an Emmy Award in 1974. Moving to Broadway in 1983, Tyson was the lead in The Corn Is Green, a play set in a Welsh mining town.

However, Tyson’s career trajectory wasn’t a smooth one; at times, she had trouble simply finding work. She flatly refused to do “blaxploitation” films or to take parts solely for the paycheck and was selective about the roles she chose. As she explained in a 1983 interview, “Unless a piece really said something, I had no interest in it. I have got to know that I have served some purpose here.”

Through the years, Tyson has kept much of her personal life—including her birth year—under wraps. One known personal detail is that Tyson was married to Miles Davis for seven years in the 1980s.

Though other information about her life is scant, Tyson has a well-known commitment to community involvement. She co-founded the Dance Theater of Harlem after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, and when a school board in East Orange, New Jersey, wanted to name a performing arts schools after her, she only agreed to accept the honor if she could participate in school activities. In addition to attending meetings and events, Tyson has even taught a master class at the school.

Tyson has received numerous acting awards and nominations and became a member of the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1977. She has also been honored by the Congress of Racial Equality and by the National Council of Negro Women. And in 2010, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People presented Tyson with its 95th Spingarn Medal—an award given to African Americans who have reached outstanding levels of achievement.

In 2015 Tyson was nominated for an Emmy for her guest starring role in ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. The following year, she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama.

For more information on Cicely Tyson, click the link below:

(my notes on Cicely Tyson: Did you get that? ‘However, Tyson’s career trajectory wasn’t a smooth one; at times, she had trouble simply finding work. She flatly refused to do “blaxploitation” films, or to take parts solely for the paycheck, and was selective about the roles she chose.’


“I feel so guilty about the state of young people today. And I say that because our generation fought for everything. We fought to sit down at a counter, to sit on a bus. They were left with nothing to fight for.”

—Cicely Tyson

 NOTE: In the episode, I said she was born in the same part of the world I was. I meant to say her family is from the same part of the world where I was born, The Caribbean.



Dian Fossey was born in San Francisco, Calif., in 1932. Her parents divorced when she was young, so Dian grew up with her mother and stepfather. By all accounts, she was an excellent student and was extremely interested in animals from a very young age. At age 6, she began horseback riding lessons and in high school earned a letter on the riding team.

When Dian enrolled in college courses at Marin Junior College, she chose to focus on business, following the encouragement of her stepfather, a wealthy businessman. She worked while in school, and at age 19, on the summer break following her freshman year of college, she went to work on a ranch in Montana. At the ranch, she fell in love with and developed an attachment to the animals, but she was forced to leave early when she contracted chicken pox.

Even so, the experience convinced Dian to follow her heart and return to school as a pre-veterinary student at the University of California. She found some of the chemistry and physics courses quite challenging, and ultimately, she turned her focus to a degree in occupational therapy at San Jose State College, from which she graduated in 1954.


She spent many years longing to visit Africa and realized that if her dream were to be realized, she would have to take matters into her own hands. Therefore, in 1963, Dian took out a bank loan and began planning her first trip to Africa. She hired a driver by mail and prepared to set off to the land of her dreams.


It took Dian Fossey’s entire life savings, in addition, a bank loan, to make her dream a reality. In September 1963, she arrived in Kenya. 

 Following her visit to the Virungas, Dian remained in Africa a while longer, staying with friends in Rhodesia. Upon arriving home in Kentucky, she resumed her work at Kosair Children’s Hospital, in order to repay the loan she had taken out for her trip to Africa – all the while dreaming of the day she would return.


In 1980, Dian moved to Ithaca, New York, as a visiting associate professor at Cornell University. She used the time away from Karisoke to focus on the manuscript for her book, “Gorillas in the Mist.” Published in 1983, the book is an account of her years in the rainforest with the mountain gorillas. Most importantly, it underscores the need for concerted conservation efforts. The book was well received and, like the movie of the same name remains popular to this day.


Dian had not been back in Rwanda long when, a few weeks before her 54th birthday, she was murdered. Her body was found in her cabin on the morning of Dec. 27, 1985. She was struck twice on the head and face with a machete. There was evidence of forced entry but no signs that robbery had been the motive.


Please click the link below for more information on Dian Fossey.


Quote: “There was no way that I could explain to dogs, friends, or parents my compelling need to return to Africa to launch a long-term study of the gorillas. Some may call it destiny and others may call it dismaying. I call the sudden turn of events in my life fortuitous.” — “Gorillas in the Mist”


“When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate on the preservation of the future.” — “Gorillas in the Mist”


Women I also found interesting, but I promised 10! Feel free to check out the site if you would like to learn more about these women! 

Ginger Rogers

Betsy Ross

Helen Keller

Kathryn Johanna Kuhlman

Bonnie Raitt


Is there a woman who did not make the list? Let me know. I would love to do a follow up to this episode as I believe it is such an encouragement to see these women did not fold their arms and check out of society.


Below are two links that list men and women down through history, who never had children:


Used for research purposes, some of these women did have children:



Articles of note:


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In Closing: Thank you for listening to this episode of Childless not by Choice. I appreciate it!

Until next time! Bye!



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