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A Phenomenal Woman of the 20th Century

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A Phenomenal Woman of the 20th Century

A Phenomenal Woman of the 20th Century

Gertrude Elion is an outstanding woman who has had to overcome many hardships to get where she is today. The most influential women of the 20th century achieved great things in the medical and science field. Although not everyone sees Gertrude Elion as a phenomenal woman of the 20th century, she deserves to be included on the book for her special achievements in the medical field. Gertrude was a biochemist and helped develop numerous drugs that have changed the medicine industry.

Many people will say that Gertrude is not fit to be considered for the book on women of the 20th century with special achievements. Gertrude might be considered unworthy by some because she never married and didn't have a man in her life to depend on (Avery). In the 1920s, women were thought to need a man, and women who were unmarried were immediately deemed incapable of doing certain tasks for themselves. Another reason some may give to deter Elion's acceptance is that she didn't stay at home and insisted upon working(JWA). The prejudices against women made it hard for Gertrude to even get a job. While some think Gertrude is inferior to other women because she was unmarried and because she worked, others know that she was a remarkable woman because of these things and she was very smart.

Gertrude was an exceptionally intelligent woman and excelled in her school work starting at a young age. As a child, Gertrude had an unrelenting thirst for knowledge. She was so intrigued by learning that she graduated from high school when she was merely 12 years old (Elion). When she was 15, her grandfather passed away due to cancer. It was then that she decided to attend college and eventually find a cure for cancer(Elion H-Dictionary). Gertrude enrolled in Hunter College in 1933 and pushed herself to obtain the best grades possible because none of her teachers thought she could do it (Avery). In 1937 Ms. Elion graduated from college Phi Beta Kappa with an AB degree summa cum laude (Gerber). Then in 1937 she decided to further her education and entered graduate school. New York University was a good match for Gertrude, even though she was the only female in her class (Elion). After only a year of course work, she completed the required courses and began working on the research requirements. At the age of 23, Gertrude acquired her master of science degree in chemistry (Gerber). Following her exceptional schooling, Gertrude was able to obtain many satisfactory jobs that she found much pleasure in.

Because Gertrude was immensely interested in chemistry, she never got bored with her jobs, unless there was nothing else to learn from them. The first job Gertrude took on was as a laboratory assistant for a chemist, so she could earn money for graduate school (JWA). Although the chemist was unable to pay her, Elion knew the experience would be rewarding. While working towards receiving her masters degree, Gertrude worked as a teacher-in-training and a substitute teacher for two years in the New York secondary schools (Elion). She taught chemistry, physics, and general science. Gertrude's first job in a laboratory environment entailed analytical quality control work for a major food company (Elion H-Dictionary). Despite the fact that she loved being in a laboratory setting, after a year and a half she left because she was "no longer learning anything" (Gerber). Elion's dream job came about in 1944 when she began work with a pharmaceutical firm as a medical researcher's assistant (Elion). The medical researcher,

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