December 23 Birthday: Sarah Breedlove Walker. VISION OF BEAUTY: THE STORY OF SARAH BREEDLOVE WALKER

Sarah Breedlove Walker, philanthropist
Dec. 23, 1867-May 25, 1919

Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker by Kathryn Lasky, illustrated by Nneka Bennett (Candlewick, 2000)

Born to former slaves, Sarah Breedlove Walker triumphed over numerous adversities to become the owner and operator of a hair products business which became one of the largest companies in America by 1912. Her generosity was legendary as she shared her wealth with others.

The Official Website of Madam C. J. Walker a.k.a Sarah Breedlove Walker offers a bio and more.

July 18 Birthday: Molly Brown. THE HEROINE OF THE TITANIC

Molly Brown, activist and philanthropist
July 18, 1867-October 26, 1932

The Heroine of the Titanic by Joan W. Blos, illustrated by Tennessee Dixon (HarperCollins, 1991)

A survivor of the Titanic, Brown was responsible for saving many lives during the disaster as well as spearheading a fund to raise money for surviving passengers who needed assistance after the tragedy.

Denver’s Historic Molly Brown House has a website devoted to “accurately portray the story of Margaret Tobin Brown.” There are lots of great things to explore in the Just for Kids section.

May 4 Birthday: Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn, actor and philanthropist

May 4, 1929-Jan. 20, 1993

Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo, illustrated by Julia Denos (Blazer+Bray, 2011)

A touching story of the acclaimed actress who grew up in Nazi-occupied Europe and found her greatest role in motherhood and serving others. Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and other iconic films live on, as do Hepburn’s charitable endeavors.

The Official Site of Audrey Hepburn spotlights her life & career and her Children’s Fund.

January 29: Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey, talk show host
Jan. 29, 1954-

Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World by Cynthia Chin-Lee, illustrated by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy (Charlesbridge, 2005)

T.V. talk show host, book lover, actress, philanthropist and more, Ms. O, an African-American, is dedicated to making the world a better place.

One of the richest people in the world, Winfrey opened a Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. Read an article about the school here.