How cool can you be in one lifetime, first her name and then everything else. In 1985, Wilma Mankiller became the first woman to serve as chief of the Cherokee tribe, and worked for 10 years in that position to improve relations between the federal government and Native Americans. She became a mother at the young age of 18 and raised her two daughters while seeking to improve healthcare and education facilities in her community. Her autobiographical book, Mankiller: A Chief and Her People, became a national best seller and Mankiller was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1987.
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