Ida B. Wells, Sylvia Plath and more get New York Times obituaries on International Women's Day

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Thursday, March 8, 2018
Ida B. Wells, other famous women finally get obituaries
In a section they call ''overlooked,'' the paper acknowledged that ''Since 1981, obituaries in the New York Times have been dominated by white men,'' and shared obituaries for influential women who never got them.

Ida B. Wells. Sylvia Plath. Henrietta Lacks. They're all influential women, and none of them got an obituary in the New York Times.

On International Women's Day, the newspaper is changing that. In a section they call ''Overlooked,'' they wrote that "Since 1981, obituaries in the New York Times have been dominated by white men." The story continued, "even in the last two years, just over one in five of our subjects were female."

The Times published full obituaries for each of these and 12 other influential women. Links to their stories can be found below.

RELATED: Celebrate International Women's Day with quotes from powerful women

Ida B. Wells

Wells was a former slave who became one of America's most famous journalists. She was known for speaking out against lynching.

Read Ida B. Wells' full obituary here.

Qiu Jin

Jin was a poet who advocated for women's rights at a time when Chinese society believed that a woman's place was at home.

Read Qiu Jin's full obituary here.

Mary Ewing Outerbridge

Outerbridge is credited with introducing tennis to America in the 1870s.

Read Mary Ewing's Outerbridge's full obituary here.

Diane Arbus

Arbus was a photographer known for her controversial portraits that highlight the lives of those living on the edge of society, such as circus performers, transvestites and mentally disabled people.

Read Diane Arbus' full obituary here.

Marsha P. Johnson

Johnson was a transgender activist and an icon in New York's Greenwich Village. She was a model for Andy Warhool, a prostitute and a drag performer. She also spent much of her life homeless.

Read Marsha P. Johnson's full obituary here.

Sylvia Plath

Plath was a poet and novelist whose most famous work, The Bell Jar, was not published until years after her death.

Read Sylvia Plath's full obituary here.

Henrietta Lacks

Lacks was a cancer patient whose cells were taken without her permission, and she was never paid for it. The subsequent research that was done with her cells led to a vast variety of treatments, including those for herpes, polio, leukemia and influenza.

Read Henrietta Lacks' full obituary here.


Madhubala was a Bollywood legend often compared to Marilyn Monroe - both for her acting abilities and her beauty, as well as for her tragic life.

Read Madhubala's full obituary here.

Emily Warren Roebling

Roebling oversaw the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge after her husband, engineer Washington A. Roebling, got sick. She was also the first person to cross the bridge.

Read Emily Warren Roebling's full obituary here.

Nella Larsen

Larsen was a Harlem Renaissance-era novelist whose writings are studied today in black studies and American literature courses.

Read Nella Larsen's full obituary here.

Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace was a mathematician who saw the potential in computing a century before the computer age. Her writings about programming in the mid-1800s have caused her to be considered the world's first computer programmer.

Read Ada Lovelace's full obituary here.

Margaret Abbott

Abbott won the ladies golf competition at the Olympics in 1900, though at the time the games were so disorganized that many athletes (Abbott included) didn't realize their competition was an official Olympic event. It was only in the 1970s, years after Abbott died, that a doctoral student confirmed that Abbott was the first American woman to win an Olympic event.

Read Margaret Abbott's full obituary here.

Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte was an author best known for her novel Jane Eyre.

Read Charlotte Bronte's full obituary here.

Belkis Ayon

Ayon was a Cuban printmaker whose work took her around the world at a time when many Cubans were not allowed to leave the country.

Read Belkis Ayon's full obituary here.

Lillias Campbell Davidson

Davidson believed a woman should travel by herself, especially by bicycle. Her passion inspired her to found the Lady Cyclists' Association, the first women's cycling organization, in 1892.

Read Lillias Campbell Davidson's full obituary here.