Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, First Woman to Serve as President of the UN General Assembly
Born in 1900 in Allahabad, India, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit was raised to be a fighter. Her father was a nationalist leader and an outspoken advocate for a free India. For her part, Pandit was imprisoned three times by the British authorities in India while fighting for independence.
After India became a sovereign nation, Pandit was nominated to lead the Indian delegation to the United Nations. She went on to serve as India’s ambassador to Moscow, Washington, and Mexico. In 1953, she became the first woman to be elected president of the UN General Assembly and is widely considered to be one of the most influential public servants of the 20th century. She passed away in Dehradun, India, in 1990.