Women Nobel Prize Winners

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff

Marie Curie was not only the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, in 1903, but she was also the only woman ever to win two Nobel Prizes. Below is a list of all women Nobel Prize winners.

Nobel Peace Prize Winners

See Nobel Prizes for Peace at Infoplease.com for the full list of winners.

1905 Bertha von Suttner (Austria)
1931 Jane Addams (U.S.)
1946 Emily G. Balch and John R. Mott (U.S.)
1976 Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams (both Northern Ireland)
1979 Mother Teresa of Calcutta (India)
Mother Teresa
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1982 Alva Myrdal (Sweden)
1991 Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (Burma)
1992 Rigoberta Menchú (Guatemala)
1997 International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Jody Williams (U.S.)
2003 Shirin Ebadi (Iran)
2004 Wangari Maathai (Kenya)
2011 Jointly to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia), and Tawakkul Karman (Yemen) "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work."

Nobel Prize Winner for Economic Science

See Nobel Prizes for Economic Science at Infoplease.com for the full list of winners.

2009 Elinor Ostrom (U.S.)

Nobel Prize Winners for Literature

See Nobel Prizes for Literature at Infoplease.com for the full list of winners.

1909 Selma Lagerof of Sweden
1926 Grazia Deledda of Italy
1928 Sigrid Undset of Norway
1938 Pearl Buck of the U.S.
1945 Gabriela Mistral of Chile
1966 Nelly Sachs of Sweden
1991 Nadine Gordimer of South Africa
1993 Toni Morrison of the U.S.
Toni Morrison
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1996 Wislawa Szymborska of Poland
2004 Elfriede Jelinek of Austria
2007 Doris Lessing of the United Kingdom
2009 Herta Müller of Germany
2013 Alice Munro of Canada

Nobel Prize Winners in Science

  • Marie Sklodowska Curie (Physics, 1903 and Chemistry, 1911) Marie Curie is considered the most famous of all women scientists. She was the only woman ever to win two Nobel Prizes. By the time she was 16, Marie had already won a gold medal at the Russian lycée in Poland upon the completion of her secondary education. In 1891, almost penniless, she began her education at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1903 her discovery of radioactivity earned her the Nobel Prize in physics. In 1911 she won it for chemistry.
  • Marie Curie
    AIP Niels Bohr Library
  • Irene Curie (Chemistry, 1935) Irene Curie was the daughter of Marie Curie. She furthered her mother's work in radioactivity and won the Nobel Prize for discovering that radioactivity could be artificially produced.
  • Gerty Radnitz Cori (Physiology or Medicine, 1947) Gerty Cori was the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in science. She studied enzymes and hormones, and her work brought researchers closer to understanding diabetes. She won the Nobel Prize for discovering the enzymes that convert glycogen into sugar and back again to glycogen.
  • Maria Goeppert Mayer (Physics, 1963) Maria researched the structure of atomic nuclei. During World War II she worked on isotope separation for the atomic bomb project.
  • Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (Chemistry, 1964) Dorothy discovered the structures of penicillin and vitamin B(12). She won the Nobel Prize for determining the structure of biochemical compounds essential to combating pernicious anemia.
  • Rosalyn Sussman Yalow (Physiology or Medicine, 1977) Rosayln Yalow won the Nobel Prize for developing radioimmunoassay, a test of body tissues that uses radioactive isotopes to measure the concentrations of hormones, viruses, vitamins, enzymes, and drugs.
  • Barbara McClintock (Physiology or Medicine, 1983) Barbara McClintock studied the chromosomes in corn/maize and her work uncovered antibiotic-resistant bacteria and a possible cure for African sleeping sickness.
  • Rita Levi-Montalicini (Physiology or Medicine, 1986) Rita is an Italian neuroembryologist known for her co-discovery in 1954 of nerve growth factor, a previously unknown protein that stimulates the growth of nerve cells and plays a role in degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease. She received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1986.
  • Gertrude Elion (Physiology or Medicine, 1988) Gertrude Elion is the only woman inventor inducted into The Inventors Hall of Fame. She invented the leukemia-fighting drug 6-mercaptopurine. Her continued research led to Imuran, a derivative of 6-mercaptopurine that blocks the body's rejection of foreign tissues.
  • Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (Physiology or Medicine, 1995) Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard won the Nobel Prize using the fruit fly to help explain birth defects in humans.
  • Linda Buck (Physiology or Medicine, 2004) Buck and fellow American Richard Axel discovered how the olfactory system—the sense of smell—works and how people are able to recognize and remember more than 10,000 odors.
  • Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (Physiology or Medicine, 2008) Barré-Sinoussi won the Nobel Prize with Luc Montagnier (both France) for their discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Carol W. Greider (Physiology or Medicine, 2009) Blackburn and Greider, both of the U.S., along with fellow American Jack W. Szostak, won the Nobel Prize for their "discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase"

Nobel Prizes
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