Sports icons, religious figures, writers, civil rights activists, and far more grace this list. There’s even a mail carrier, and boy what a story she is. Read on, learn about history, and pick up a few names you should know and cherish.
Mary Fields – Mail Carrier
Born in 1832, Mary Fields was the very first African-American to work for the postal service in the United States, and she didn't start doing it until she was sixty-three years old. This was in 1895, thirty years after the Emancipation Proclamation. A woman joining the mail service at the age of sixty-three would be incredible even now, but this was even better.
She was the fastest applicant to hitch a team of six horses. She gained the nickname “Stagecoach” because she never ever missed a day. Even in snowy days, Fields would strap on a pair of snowshoes and deliver the mail herself.
Maya Angelou – Poet
With three books of essays, several books of poetry, and a long list of plays, movies, and television shows that she's helped, Maya Angelou might be the most famous Black writer in American history. She has a whopping seven autobiographies, which includes her most famous, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.”
She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama in 2010, and her history is spectacular. She was a singer, a memoirist, and a civil rights activist. Her life is worth an article on its own – suffice to say that this writer has earned her spot in the history books.
Arthur Ashe – Tennis Player
Arthur Ashe was born in 1943, and he's the only Black man ever to win singles titles at Wimbledon, the Australian Open, AND the US Open. He was also the first Black tennis player to join the United States Davis Cup team.
After collapsing while holding a tennis clinic, it was found that Ashe was infected by a terminal illness thanks to blood transfusions. He founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the defeat of that disease, raising awareness and funding. President Bill Clinton awarded him a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993.
Ruby Bridges – Civil Rights Activist
Calling Ruby Bridges a civil right activist is burying the lede a little – she was the little gal who bravely walked into the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana, flanked by U.S. Marshals. While she never missed a day of school, she often ate lunch alone and played with the teacher during recess.
Due to her standing in history, she was able to establish the Ruby Bridges Foundation in 1999 to promote tolerance and change through education. She even became an honorary deputy marshal during a ceremony in 2000, held in Washington, DC.
Kobe Bryant – NBA Star and Humanitarian
As one of the biggest players in one of the NBA's biggest franchises, Bryant won five titles with the Los Angeles Lakers. He won gold with the United States men's basketball teams at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic Games, which seems a little unfair.
Beyond the court, Bryant was a humanitarian and a vocal advocate for the homeless. He and his wife Vanessa started a foundation that aimed to reduce the number of homeless in Los Angeles. The world was shocked and saddened when Bryant and his daughter Gigi died in a helicopter crash, as well as seven other passengers.
Bessie Coleman – Civil Aviator
Coleman was going to get into the pilot's seat of a plane, and nothing was going to stop her. When American flying schools didn't allow her to enter due to her skin color, she did the only thing she could. She taught herself French and moved to France and earned a flying license from Caudron Brother's School in less than a year.
Her inspiration came from the stories of World War I pilots. Not only could she fly with the best of them, but she was also one of THE best. Her specialty was aerial tricks and stunt flying.
Rudolph Fisher – Physician
He's listed here as a physician, but that isn't even getting past the surface of what Fisher was able to accomplish. Born in 1897, he was a radiologist, a novelist, a short story writer, a dramatist, a musician, and an orator. He has his name on scores of scientific articles, and he wrote articles for the NAACP.
He wrote two novels, played piano, and toured with Paul Robeson to play some jazz. The most amazing part of all these accomplishments? Rudolph Fisher passed away in 1934, at the age of only thirty-seven. Just think what he might have been able to accomplish if he'd had a few more decades.
Robert Guillaume – Actor
Raised by his grandmother in the segregated south, Guillaume moved to New York when he was young to find his place in the world. He performed in theater for nineteen years, gaining accolades like a Tony nom for a role in “Guys and Dolls.” His biggest role came in 1976 when he became Benson on “Soap.”
The role earned him an Emmy Award, and it helped create the spin-off “Benson,” which earned him a second Emmy. His biggest moment on the stage was probably playing the Phantom in “Phantom of the Opera,” and you've almost certainly heard his voice as Rafiki in “The Lion King.”
Langston Hughes – Poet
Hughes (born in 1902), was a social activist, novelist, playwright, poet, and columnist. His first book of poetry came out in the twenties, and he wrote a weekly column for “The Chicago Defender.” He died in 1967, just as the civil rights movement was beginning to see success.
For all his additions to art and Black history, his ashes are interred beneath a floor medallion in the middle of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. He also has an auditorium entrance named after him.
Zora Neale Hurston – Author
Zora Neale Hurston is now one of the most legendary Black writers in American history, but it almost wasn't so. As a child, she had to stop attending school after her father stopped paying the school fees, and then she had to lie about her age at public school in order to get a free education.
She was an author, a filmmaker, and a student of Hoodoo (the American version of Voodoo), and her most famous book, “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” became a famous film in 2005. She was also, of all things, an anthropologist during her spare time.
Nipsey Hussle – Rapper and Entrepreneur
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hussle was first known as Ermias Joseph Asghedom, and he was an activist, business owner, and Grammy-winning rapper. While young, he had to join gangs to survive before he was able to find success with his music. He was dedicated to providing opportunities and solutions to young Black men that go beyond joining gangs as he did.
Just one day before he was going to meet with LAPD officials about gang violence in South Los Angeles in 2019, he fell to the very thing that he had spent so long making music to defuse – gang violence.
Harriet Jacobs – Writer
Jacobs's mother died when she was only six years old, and then she moved in with her late mother's owner, who taught the girl to sew and read. With the help of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee, she was able to escape in 1842 at the age of twenty-nine, and got work as a nanny in New York, staying away from her former owners for ten years until she officially bought her freedom.
She then went on to write an autobiography that was published in multiple countries. Until her death in 1897, she was an abolitionist and was dedicated to helping slaves and freedmen.
Nina Simone – Musician
Eunice Waymon, which you probably know as Nina Simone, had a hand in every part of the recording industry, as well as working as a civil rights activist. Her music escaped the bounds of genre. She learned to play piano as a toddler in the church where her father was a teacher.
She made it to the white side of town to study with a German piano teacher, and then made it into nothing less than The Juilliard School. She eventually helped create more than forty albums and received an honorary degree from the Curtis Institute mere days before she passed away in 2003.
Big Mama Thornton – Singer
With a name like Big Mama Thornton, you know you're getting a big personality, too. Big Mama is best known for her Rhythm and Blues recording “Hound Dog,” which was later covered by Elvis, and her song “Ball and Chain,” which was later covered by Janis Joplin.
Her name came from both her size and her incredible voice. As a child, she sang in a church until she caught the attention of an Atlanta music promoter. She sang her way through the south, playing at such famous hot spots as the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater into the seventies.
Muddy Waters – Musician
He grew up on a plantation in Mississippi. By the time he was seventeen (1930), he was a deft hand at the guitar and the harmonica. In the forties he moved to Chicago to become a full-time musician, working in a factory by day.
A tour he took in England in 1958 gained the blues many more listeners, and he's credited as one of the creators of the electric slide guitar. He also has a pair of Grammy Awards. The first for 1972 's “They Call Me Muddy Waters,” and the second for 1975's “The Muddy Waters Woodstock Album.”
Robert Abbott – Entrepreneur
Robert Sengstacke Abbott founded one of the most important papers in United States history in 1905. It was “The Chicago Defender,” and it was a Black newspaper that changed the world. It made Abbott a Black millionaire when such a thing was practically unheard of.
The success of the newspaper was a catalyst for “The Great Migration,” when African-Americans moved from rural areas into urban cities in the millions, with hundreds of thousands settling in Chicago. The newspaper even got snuck into areas where it wasn't allowed thanks to smugglers known as the Brotherhood of the Sleeping Car Porters.
Muhammad Ali – Boxer and Activist
He said it himself – he was the greatest. The most famous boxer in the history of the sport had power, speed, and an immaculate ring knowledge that allowed him to out-punch, out-step, and out-style almost every opponent that tried to face him in the ring. His professional record was 56-5.
Though he was born as Cassius Clay, he converted to Islam, changing his name to the now-famous Muhammad Ali. His most famous fight was undoubtedly the Rumble in the Jungle against the heavyweight champion, George Foreman. Ali's standing up against the Vietnam draft helped to inspire people like Martin Luther King Jr.
Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander – Writer
T. M. A. was a woman of big firsts in the history of African-Americans. She was the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. In economics in the United States, she was the first Black woman to graduate with a law degree from Penn Law School, and the first Black woman to practice law in Pennsylvania. This ground-breaking woman also has plenty of speeches on file in the archives at Penn Law School.
Beyond that, she has another accolade: She has a school named after her, the Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander University of Pennsylvania Partnership School, which is also known as Penn Alexander.
Octavius V. Catto – Civil Rights Activist
Octavius V. Catto was one of the most influential civil rights activists active in Philadelphia during the nineteenth century. He tirelessly fought for both the abolition of slavery and the widespread implementation of civil rights for all citizens of the United States. His actions led to things like desegregating Philadelphia's public trolleys.
He also played a role in the ratification of the fifteenth amendment, which forbids voting discrimination on the basis of race. In 1871, on the first election day that African-Americans were allowed to vote, he tragically dies outside his home at the age of thirty-two.
James Forten – Abolitionist and Entrepreneur
James Forten was born a free man in 1766 in the city of Philadelphia. He worked as a sailmaker after the American Revolutionary War and was even able to become a foreman. Furthermore, when his boss retired, he bought the business. His business continued turning a profit thanks to the equipment he developed.
By the time he was in his forties, Forten was able to devote time and money toward the abolition and civil rights movement. By the time of his death in 1842 at the age of seventy-six, he was one of the most well-known and powerful voices for change in the entire city.
Sojourner Truth – Abolitionist
She's one of the most famous abolitionists and civil rights activists from the era, born at about the turn of the nineteenth century as Isabella Baumfree. She was born into slavery in New York but escaped to freedom with her infant daughter.
A few years later, in 1828, she went to court to recover a son who illegally vanished, becoming the first Black woman to win a case of the kind against a white man. Truth is a member of “Smithsonian” magazine's list of the one hundred most significant Americans of all time.
Phillis Wheatley – Poet
Though Wheatley was born in West Africa. She learned to read and write at a young age, and then she became the first African-American woman to publish a book of poetry. It was a long road to do so in those times – the mid-eighteenth century, just before the Revolutionary War. Being black, she had to prove that she had written the poems herself.
Eventually, she was forced to travel to London to publish in 1773, but she got her time in the sun – none other than George Washington enjoyed her poetry so much that he requested to meet her in 1776.
Serena Jameka Williams – Tennis Player
There are a number of famous female tennis players out there, but none of them get close to the Williams sisters. Serena just barely has the edge over her sister Venus as the best of the best – she's won twenty-three major singles titles, the most of any person in the current era.
The Women's Tennis Association ranked her as the best in the world in the singles ranking eight times from 2002 to 2017. Not only that, she has some gold medals from three different Olympics – one each from 2000 and 2008, and a pair from 2012.
Mary McLeod Bethune – Civil Rights Activist and Educator
She was an educator, a civil rights leader, and an adviser to five presidents of the United States. She gained the name “First Lady of Struggle” as she continued to push for the rights of her fellow African-Americans.
She focused her faith and her organizational skills on her passion for progress to equality. She lived until 1955 – a total of eighty years – but still made great strides in the name of justice.
Shirley Chisholm – Politician
Imagine being the sole Black female congresswoman at the height of the civil rights movement. That's what Shirley Chisholm was dealing with, but she was relentless in her pursuit of breaking political barriers of all kinds. She became the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress in 1968, representing New York's 12 District for a whopping seven terms, spanning from 1968 to 1983.
She championed improved education and unemployment benefits. She was also the first black candidate for a major party's nomination for president of the United States, and the first woman to run for the presidential nomination from the Democratic party.
Benjamin O. Davis Sr. – General Officer
Born in Chicago in 1877, Davis had no idea that he would go on to make history. He joined the army while it was still segregated, and became the first black colonel in the army in 1930. During World War II he headed a special unit designed to protect both the status and morale of black soldiers, and he also served as a special advisor in Europe.
President Roosevelt promoted him to brigadier general in 1940, becoming the first black man to make the rank of general. After retiring from the military, he became an advisor on discrimination, and he pushed for full integration of the armed forces.
Frederick Douglass – Abolitionist and Author
Few abolitionist leaders are as well-known as Frederick Douglass, and it's thanks to a few different things. His time as a slave in the early nineteenth century let him know everything he needed about the barbaric practice. He published his autobiography, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,” in 1845 (when he was only twenty-seven) and it created an instant stir.
He broke down the myth of the happy slave and rose to prominence in the abolitionist movement. Douglass was smart, thoughtful, and memorable when he spoke. He was an advisor to Lincoln, and even to Lincoln's successor Andrew Johnson.
Dr. Charles Drew – Physician
Charles Drew was an athlete in high school in college, but he eventually switched his focus to medicine, becoming a surgeon and medical researcher. He determined that plasma, the liquid portion of blood without red blood cells, lasts for much longer.
His research helped develop protocols that improved collection and refrigeration methods, how blood donors should be screened, and helped train people to collect and test blood. He became a medical director of the American Red Cross National Blood Donor Service – there are many who say his work was crucial in the fight against Hitler during World War II.
W.E.B Du Bois – Sociologist, Writer, and Activist
Nobody could have guessed just how accurate William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was when he wrote “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line.” It's just one part of his long history of activism and writing about the color line, looking at both sides.
He wrote a great deal about ethnic relations, long before names like Martin Luther King Jr. were around. His large library is essential for reading for someone that wants to understand more about the history of the United States.
Duke Ellington – Composer and Bandleader
Anybody who calls themselves a jazz fan knows of this soulful musician, but he was different compared to others of the era. While lots of other bandleaders had big, brassy moments, Ellington was a little more mysterious, with tunes like “I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)” and “In a Sentimental Mood” delivering a romantic feel.
Ellington had the ear of the entire nation, and he has the awards to prove it: eleven Grammy Awards, nine albums in the Grammy hall of fame, and a Grammy Trustees Award.
Aretha Franklin – Singer-Songwriter
Her wails, her gospel tones, and her lyrics all combined to create some of the most memorable and heart-wrenching music available. Born in 1942, she was the daughter of a Detroit Baptist minister. Her first number-one hit, a remake of Otis Redding's “Respect,” was part of the soundtrack of the civil rights movement, especially in her hometown.
The song also served as a call for women's rights. She was the first female performer to get inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and she paved the way for your favorite African-American star – no matter who she is.
Jimi Hendrix – Musician, Singer-Songwriter
If you want to be the best rock guitarist ever, there's one man you'll have to get past Jimi Hendrix. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame called him the most gifted instrumentalist of all time, and plenty of guitarists try and fail to live up to his standard.
His playing abilities were huge, but so were his lyrics, which had a poetic quality. There are Grammy awards galore, some posthumous, and he also has the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts. So much music – rock, funk, jazz, and more – is because of him.
Jesse Jackson – Civil Rights Activist and Politician
Born in 1941, Jackson survived the tumultuous civil rights movement and plenty more to become one of the foremost activists and politicians for Black advancement. Many believe that if not for the groundwork he laid, a Black president might have never happened.
Beginning in the eighties, Jackson won Democratic primaries and caucuses on a shoestring budget, shocking the Democratic party. Becoming a leader in the Democratic party, he finished as a runner-up to the Democratic nominee, Michael Dukakis, in the 1988 presidential election. Jackson's image has taken some hits in recent years, but he deserves plenty of accolades for pushing for the next step.
Michael Jackson – Singer-Songwriter
The King of Pop needs no introduction. Even if you aren't a huge music fan, there's probably a tune or two from this legendary figure that runs through your head every once in a while. With a career spanning five decades (despite passing at the age of fifty-one), his album “Thriller,” had an absolutely astounding seven top-ten singles on the “Billboard” Hot 100, and it garnered an incredible eight Grammys.
If we put aside controversy and rumors, and not to mention failing health for a number of reasons, his legacy lives on nearly every time you turn on the pop stations.
Jay Z – Artist, Entrepreneur
He was born Shawn Corey Carter, but the rap world knows him as Jay Z. He's one of the biggest figures in the legend of this unique genre of music.. He never graduated high school, and he sold illegal substances on the street, but he became Jay Z thanks to his 1996 debut album, “Reasonable Doubt.”
He brought hip-hop back to life thanks to his amazing flow and fire lyrics, and he has the most number-one albums of any solo artist ever. He's also a savvy businessman as an owner of Tidal and numerous record companies.
Katherine Johnson – Mathematician and Physicist
Who among us hasn't thought about what it might be like to work for NASA? Katherine Johnson is just like the rest of us, except she actually made it there. Johnson was part of a team that helped astronaut John Glenn circle before Apollo Eleven touched down on the moon's surface.
She worked in a pool of black women that worked on math calculations. This was in the fifties, long before the civil rights movement, and for a long time, this story was forgotten – until the recent movie “Hidden Figures” brought it to light.
Quincy Jones – Music Producer, Songwriter, and Activist
He was born in Washington, but he spent most of his life in the Chicagoland area, and he's been jamming for almost six decades. He's provided soundtracks to some of the biggest moments in music history, and he's had a hand in plenty of memorable albums, too.
He and his musical partner were the first Black composers nominated for an Academy Award in 1968 for the film “Banning.” He has an amazing seventy-nine Grammy noms, he's won twenty-seven, and he has a Grammy Legend Award from 1991. We also have him to thank for some of Michael Jackson's best music.
Michael Jordan – Basketball Player
Calling Michael Jordan a basketball player is like calling Superman a crime-fighter. The term just doesn't do justice. MJ was the biggest and best on the court no matter when or where it was. He was the greatest to ever pound the hardwood, and he has six rings to show for it. Even those not fans of the Bulls – or of b-ball in general – knew all about the power of Jordan.
Five league MVPS, 10 league scoring titles, an NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award – Jordan's trophy case is the most extensive and legendary of anyone who has rocked between the nets.
Martin Luther King Jr. - Civil Rights Activist and Minister
No other name means as much to the civil rights movement as Martin Luther King Jr. He was a key figure in some of the biggest moments of the sixties, including the March on Washington, the Montgomery bus boycott, and the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. He earned a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, and a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Washington D.C. monument, and his own holiday.
We don't even think there's anyone else on this list with that specific reward. He refused to answer violence with violence, but he still found himself fighting a war that was being waged all around him.
Henrietta Lacks – Medical Patient
Never heard the name? Few have. She was an accidental pioneer of modern medicine, and her cells are saving lives despite her death in 1951. In '51, Lacks was a thirty-one-year-old mother of five, diagnosed with a severe illness. Doctors at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore tested her body tissues without her permission.
The cells – known as HeLa – could reproduce unusually rapidly, and were hardy enough to undergo multiple tests. For these reasons and others, they've been instrumental in the study of cancer, madison development, and vaccines. They still exist in labs all over the world.
Malcolm X – Civil Rights Activist and Minister
From illegal substance addiction and a life of crime to being the biggest and most prominent civil rights leader in an era when they were needed most, Malcolm X – born Malcolm Little, is royalty in Black America.
He converted to Islam while serving a six-year prison sentence, and in just two years he was a minister for Nation of Islam temples in multiple cities. His theories became the blueprint for the civil rights and black power movements of the sixties and seventies.
Thurgood Marshall – Supreme Court Justice
Being nominated to the supreme court is a big thing. Being the first black man nominated to the supreme court is a huge thing. Being the first black man nominated to the supreme court during the civil rights movement is...well, it's Thurgood Marshall.
By 1967 – when he was nominated – he had argued and won more cases before the supreme court than almost anybody. His most famous victory was Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, which forced public schools to desegregate. He was vicious when he had something to say, and it doesn't matter if it was about politicians or other black leaders.
Toni Morrison – Novelist and Playwright
Morrison is one of the most famous writers either black or woman, and it was all thanks to her characters, who are so human you expect them to be sitting on the couch next to you as your turn pages. She didn't teach about the horrors of their past – she was teaching about the human spirit, despite horrible things and terrible lives.
Morrison taught us over and over that we each have our own journey. She didn't preach, but there was still plenty to learn every time you picked up one of her books.
Barack Obama – President of the United States
You probably recognize this guy. You should, at least. To say that Obama's rise to the top spot in the nation is unexpected is putting it mildly. He had little experience in politics except for a single term in the United States Senate and seven years in the Illinois Senate. He didn't get much support from established politicians, but he proved to be an unforgettable public speaker.
One of the most unexpected presidential candidates became one of the most unexpected presidents – and the very first one that wasn't lily white. His slogan, “Yes we can,” still remains one of the turning points for the nation.
Jesse Owens – Track and Field Athlete
It was 1936, and the Olympics were in Berlin, Germany. The country – and the continent would erupt in a war in a few short years. He wanted to prove that the Aryans were the strongest...but Jesse Owens wasn't going to let him have his moment. Owens proved that the blond-haired, blue-eyed Masters was nothing more than a dream when he set or equaled records in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter sprint, the 400-meter relay, and the long jump.
The best part? German audiences went crazy for Owens, which must have really tweaked Germa's leader's nose. And the rest? Well, the rest is history.
Gordon Parks – Photographer, Musician, and Director
Few people are able to bring such a deft hand to so many art forms, but Gordon Parks was one of them. From early photos that capture another side of America to long “Vogue” spreads, he showed off a sparkling amount of creativity. He became the first African-American photographer at “Life” magazine and is responsible for amazing photo essays.
His movies “The Learning Tree” in 1969 and “Shaft” in 1971 made him the first African-American director of major motion pictures. “Shaft” would define the blaxploitation era and expand the jobs and roles that Black Americans had in the movie business.
Jackie Robinson – Baseball Player and Civil Rights Activist
Robinson might as well lead the list when it comes to important Black athletes in America. Not only did he break the color barrier in a major sport, but it was a team sport – he was on the practice field, in the locker room, and in the showers with his white teammates.
He was a brilliant player and a man of towering character that forced integration almost everywhere he went – sports leagues, hotels, the military, and much more. It didn't end because of him, but segregation and its allies took a huge hit, and it was because of a ball player.
Oprah Winfrey - TV Host, Actress, Producer
Born in 1954 and simply known as Oprah, she is best recognized for "The Oprah Winfrey Show" which ran for over 25 years. She once carried the title of being the world's only black billionaire.
She struggled through a harsh and traumatic upbringing and was a single teen mom. However, she managed to cross these barriers in life and become one of the most famous black women in the world. She has managed to grasp generations of young girls and women to look up to her and thanks to her, believe that anything is possible.
Rosa Parks - Civil Rights Activist
Rosa Parks is known for her courageous action of rejecting the bus driver and not freeing a seat for a white person on the bus. This was of course followed by her arrest however it was also followed by her becoming one of the most recognized women associated with Balck people's rights.
Her actions became a symbol of the NAACP movement and she eventually ended up collaborating with civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King. Parks died at the age of 92, after receiving the presidential medal for freedom and being the first woman to ever lie in the Capitol Rotunda.
Rihanna - Singer, Actress, and Businesswoman
Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty, she is one of the most successful female singers alive. Brought up in Barbados, Rihanna came to fame in 2005 when she released Music of The Sun and A Girl Like Me. Since then she had filled the stadiums, starred on the billboards, and has become another black woman to be proud of.
There is more to her than just music, as she is involved in humanitarian causes, and entrepreneurial ventures and is known as the first black woman to ever lead a brand under LVMH.
Lizzo - Rapper, Singer Song Writer
In 2019 Lizzo released her first major mainstream success with 'Cus I Love You'. 'Truth Hurts', which was on the same debuted album, gave her the title of being the longest-leading solo song by a black female rapper. She has contributed her voice to many animated films and stars in 'Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls', for which she has won an Ammy Award.
Her contribution to music has been mentioned on several occasions by 'Time" magazine, naming her 'Entertained of the Year' alongside the many wards she has grasped. She is strongly connected to her LGBTQ fans and has been known to refer to them as 'Lizzbinas".