It could be your mother, a friend or a teacher. Have they expressed themselves artistically? Worked to better their community? Achieved academic success? Empowered others and embraced diversity? Share their stories here.
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Sue Perlgut

Ithaca, NY, United States

Constance Eberhardt Cook (1919-2009) was a woman ahead of her time. She was a graduate of Cornell law school in 1943, one of only a few female corporate lawyers in NYC in the 1940’s and an important historical pioneer in the fight for women’s rights. She represented Tompkins County, NY as a Republican in the New York State Assembly when there were only two other women there in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Through the political process, she implemented legislation concerning broad-based public control of education and the decriminalizing of abortion. Her efforts regarding abortion became the critical model for Roe V Wade. Mrs. Cook spent more than 10 years in the NY State assembly, always aware of her constituents’ needs. In 1974, she was the first woman vice-president of Cornell University. That same year she sued the Episcopal Church so that women could be priests and she won. Cook was an innovator and many changes that have taken place in American life came about because of her drive, determination, and humanitarianism.