The idea that a single mom can do it all on her own isn’t new. Single moms have been doing it for centuries- knocking down barriers left and right for those who come after them. Some of the most powerful women in history were single moms, and you might not even know it because they made it all seem so effortless.
Maya Angelou, Poet and Civil Rights Activist
Best known for her writing, Maya Angelou tackled many feats in her lifetime- from being raped at the age of eight to reciting a poem at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. Perhaps the challenge that most influenced her writing was the fact that she became a single mom when she was just a teenager. Many of the struggles she faced as a single mom were the catalyst to some of her most inspirational pieces of writing.
Katie Couric, Journalist and Author
You probably know her from watching the news, but there’s much more to Katie Couric than meets the eye. She has endured some very tragic moments in her life, including losing her beloved husband to colon cancer in 1998. After his death, she was left to raise her two young daughters alone. She did so with grace and dignity, all while making a name for herself in a male-dominated industry.
Princess Diana, Activist and Icon
Her untimely death in 1997 shocked the world, but her legacy lives on in her children and grandchildren. After her divorce from the British royal, Prince Charles, Diana continued the charity work she had already started, particularly with AIDS patients. Her son, Prince Harry, revealed in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that she continues to protect her family from beyond the grave. The inheritance she left him was what he used to move his family from the UK to the United States in order to allow them to live a safer, more peaceful life away from the constant barrage of the paparazzi- the same paparazzi who were responsible for his mother’s death.
Other Powerhouse Single Moms
There are so many amazing single moms who have made significant contributions to society throughout history. Scientist Marie Curie went on to win the Nobel Prize after her husband passed away, leaving her to care for their two young daughters on her own. “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling wrote the popular books while raising her three children alone. The “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin became a mother at the young age of 12, going on to raise her children mainly on her own while pursuing her music career and battling alcoholism simultaneously.
Women Who Chose the Single-Mom Life
Not every single mom was forced into that lifestyle. Many have chosen it and thrived, including singer Sheryl Crow, who adopted two sons on her own, actress Diane Keaton, who adopted her two children when she was in her 50’s, and television host Padma Lakshmi, who has been very vocal about her love of single motherhood.
Other famous single moms include Kylie Jenner, Minnie Driver, Sandra Bullock, Charlize Theron, Denise Richardson, and January Jones.
Celebrities Raised by Single Moms
While not every single mom is famous in their own right, some have made a significant impact by raising those who have gone on to make a difference in this world. Perhaps the most famous person raised by a single mother is former President Barack Obama, whose mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, did it all on her own until he turned four years old.
Actress Angelina Jolie, singer Christina Aguilera, rappers Sean Combs and Kanye West, and television host Kelly Clarkson were all brought up in a single-parent household. It just goes to show that being raised by a single mom doesn’t have to hold you back. It can actually push you to become even more successful.
In the United States alone, more than 80% of single-parent households are led by a mother. That number has grown substantially in recent decades, and with more and more women finding that they really can do it all on their own, it will likely increase even more. Single motherhood is something to be embraced, and these powerful women throughout history have proven that.