Politics, science, entertainment, sports, business — the women featured here have made great strides, broken records or achieved milestones in each of these fields.
Via high-school photos sourced by Classmates.com, we can see how these great women started off in life.
Michelle Obama, pictured here in her 1980 junior year portrait, served as first lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017.
DeGeneres, shown here in her senior portrait, is a talk show host, comedian, actress and producer.
She was the first openly gay actress to play a lesbian character when she starred in “Ellen” from 1994 to 1998.
Clinton, shown here in her 1965 senior portrait, served as the 67th U.S. secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, under President Obama. She also served as a Democratic senator from New York from 2001 to 2009 and first lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001.
During the 2016 election, she became the first woman to be nominated for president by a major U.S. political party.
Winfrey, best known for hosting “The Oprah Winfrey Show” for 25 seasons, is the only black multi-billionaire in North America. Her show was the highest-rated talk show in history.
Winfrey is also a philanthropist, actress, producer, investor and CEO of the Oprah Winfrey Network. She’s shown here in a 1971 yearbook, in which she was voted “most popular.”
Madonna, shown here in her 1975 junior year photo, catapulted to fame in the 1980s.
She is the best-selling female recording artist in the world, having sold more than 300 million records worldwide.
Berry, shown here in her 1984 senior picture, is the only black woman to have won the Best Actress Academy Award. She won it in 2002 for her performance in “Monster’s Ball.”
Sotomayor, shown here in her 1969 freshman photo, is the first Latino Supreme Court justice. She also made history by becoming the third female justice and one of the youngest justices on the Supreme Court.
Streep, an acting legend, has been nominated for more Academy Awards than any other actor or actress.
She’s pictured here in a 1966 yearbook photo.
Gates, a former Microsoft project manager, is a co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which she started with her husband, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. She is shown with others here in a photo from her 1981 junior yearbook.
Warren, pictured here in her 1966 senior photo, is a Democratic senator from Massachusetts. Before she was elected in 2013, she was instrumental in establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Streisand became the first woman to write, produce, direct and star in a major studio film, when she worked on “Yentl.” She is the only woman to win the Golden Globe for Best Director for her work on that film.
She is pictured here in her 1959 senior photo.
Steinem, pictured here in her 1952 senior photo, is a nationally recognized activist, feminist and journalist.
Jemison, shown here in her 1973 senior portrait, became the first African-American woman to travel to space in 1992.
She is also a physician and a professor.
Blakely, pictured here in her 1988 junior portrait, became a billionaire by founding the women’s shape-wear company Spanx. She is listed by Forbes as the 93rd most powerful woman in the world.
She founded the Sara Blakely Foundation, which helps women with entrepreneurial endeavors.
Jett, an iconic rock singer, songwriter and composer, has had three albums certified as platinum or gold.
She is also an advocate for feminism and veganism. Here, she is pictured in her 1974 sophomore photo.
Bigelow, shown here in her 1968 junior picture, was the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director for her film “The Hurt Locker.”
Wojcicki, pictured here in her 1986 senior portrait, became the CEO of YouTube in 2014. Prior to that position, she worked at Google and Intel.
Wojcicki, a mother of five, is an advocate of paid maternity leave.
Wojcicki, Susan Wojcicki’s sister, is the co-founder and the CEO of the genome analyzing company 23andMe.
She is pictured here in her 1989 freshman photo.
Thomas is an actress and the creator of the groundbreaking, gender-neutrality-advocating children’s franchise “Free to Be ... You and Me.”
She is pictured here in her 1955 senior portrait.
Mary Lou Retton
Retton, pictured here in her freshman photo, gained fame when she won the All Around Gold Medal in women’s gymnastics at the 1984 Olympic Games.
She was the first American woman ever to win a gold medal in gymnastics.
Morrison, an author shown here in her 1948 junior year photo, won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award in 1988 for her novel “Beloved.”
She also earned the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993.
Ride, who died in 2012, was the first American woman to travel to space. She is also the youngest American astronaut to travel to space.
She is pictured here in her 1968 senior portrait.
Ford, who died in 2011, served as first lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977.
She was considered the most candid first lady to date, bringing attention to addiction issues by publicly acknowledging her own challenges with substance abuse. She also became one of the first prominent women to speak openly about her experience with breast cancer. She is pictured here in her 1936 senior photo.
King, a geneticist shown here in her 1963 senior year portrait, is known best for identifying breast cancer genes.
She also used genetics to identify and locate people who suffered human rights abuses, and to prove that humans and chimpanzees are 99 percent genetically identical.
Barra, shown here in her 1979 junior picture, is the CEO of General Motors.
She is the first woman to become CEO of a major automaker.
Coughlin, an Olympic swimmer, was the first female athlete to win six medals at one Olympiad when she competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
She is tied with two other swimmers for the most all-time Olympic swimming medals, with a total of 12. She is pictured here in a yearbook photo.
Dresselhaus, who died in 2017, was a physicist who pioneered research in the electrical properties of carbon.
She was the first woman to be named an institute professor — the highest teaching level — at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she worked for 57 years. Here, she is photographed in her 1948 senior picture.