Astronauts, Athletes, & Ambassadors: Oklahoma Women from 1950-2007

Key Information

Astronauts, Athletes, & Ambassadors: Oklahoma Women from 1950-2007, By Glenda Carlile

2007 [ISBN: 1-58107-125-6; 258 pages; 5 ½ x 8 ½ inch; soft cover] $16.95


AAAwebCovPioneers in their own way, these women continue to open new frontiers and bring glory to Oklahoma. Some of these prominent women are: Jerrie Cobb, Shannon Lucid, Shannon Miller, Bertha Teague, Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, Mayor Mazola McKerson, June Brooks, Clara Luper, Chief Wilma Mankiller, the Five Miss Americas, Kay Starr, Reba McEntire, Wanda Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Billie Letts, Doris Travis, Ida “B”Blackburn, Leona Mitchell, Alma Wilson, Donna Nigh, Mary Fallin, Merline Lovelace, and General Rita Aragon.

The Contents

  • Jerrie CobbTop Woman Pilot
  • Bertha Frank TeagueThe Winningest Coach in the Nation
  • Kay StarrThe Wheel of Fortune Keeps Spinning Around
  • Jeane KirkpatrickUnited States Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Mazola McKerson Born to Serve
  • Doris TravisStill Dancing at 102 Years Old
  • Oklahoma’s Miss Americas
    • Norma Smallwood – 1926
    • Jayne Jayroe – 1967
    • Susan Powell – 1981
    • Shawntell Smith – 1996
    • Jennifer Berry – 2006
  • Clara LuperMother of the Civil Rights Movement
  • June BrooksThe Mad Ma’am of Ardmore
  • Wanda JacksonQueen of Rockabilly
  • Shannon MillerAmerica’s Most Decorated Gymnast
  • Wilma MankillerChief of the Cherokee Nation
  • Leona MitchellInternationally Renown Operatic Soprano
  • Merline LovelaceWoman in Command
  • Ida Mae BlackburnTelevision Pioneer Ida “B”
  • Alma WilsonChief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court
  • Donna Nigh“Good Girls Wear White Hats”
  • Reba McIntireLeading Lady of Country Music
  • Mary FallinOklahoma’s Woman in Politics
  • Billie LettsAward Winning Author and Oprah’s Choice
  • Shannon LucidSpace Pioneer
  • Larita A. AragonMajor General, Oklahoma Air National Guard
  • Carrie UnderwoodAmerican Idol-Oklahoma Idol



“Glenda Carlile’s Astronauts, Athletes and Ambassadors: Oklahoma Women from 1950 to 2007 is a wonderful account of some of the legendary Oklahoma women whose strength, courage and determination continue to serve as an inspiration for us all. In this energetic and entertaining volume, Glenda profiles a number of remarkable women — Shannon Lucid, Clara Luper, Wilma Mankiller, Shannon Miller and Donna Nigh, to name a few -who helped shape our state and nation. In doing so, Glenda Carlile justly honors these exceptional women.”
Kim Henry, Oklahoma’s First Lady

“In her own eloquent style, Glenda Carlile relays the important impact women have made on the state of Oklahoma, the nation, and the world. With a sense of style and grace, many of these women achieved success, at a time in society, when equality of opportunity was not afforded every American. Exemplifying a spirit that is uniquely Oklahoma, they continue to serve as positive role models for other women.”
Connie Armstrong, Editor, Oklahoma Almanac

“I think the women Glenda Carlile has chosen to profile in this book all have that hallmark of striving to be the best in their field. From each of these women, readers can draw strength from their experiences. All have ridden the merry-go-round of highs and lows in their life. All have known joys and setbacks. What characterizes each one was their ability to handle changes in their lives and their communities and strive to make a difference in their world. The women gathered on these pages can serve as a beacon of hope to others for their exemplary examples of courage and leadership. Their stories may have their genesis in a different era, but they are still inspiring role models for today’s generations to follow.”
M. J. VanDeventer, Editor, Persimmon Hill Magazine

“These were ordinary women who, through genetics, environment, or pure stubbornness, created for themselves extraordinary situations. They listened to their hearts, made eyes-open decisions, and drove into their futures without looking back.”
Carolyn D. Wall, The Write Page, Inc.

The Author

Although not a native Oklahoman, Glenda Carlile considers herself an “Okie” by interest and love. Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Florida, she knew little about Oklahoma before moving to the state in 1962. She attributes her love of Oklahoma history to her husband, Tom, a native Oklahoman. A former newspaper correspondent for The Daily Oklahoman and The Midwest City Sun and the operator of a local tour company, Glenda became fascinated with the many women who played prominent roles in Oklahoma history and how little is known about them. Her first book, Buckskin, Calico, and Lace was a collection of stories of Oklahoma’s territorial women. Now in Petticoats, Politics, and Pirouettes she continues the vivid accounts of Oklahoma Women and the outstanding contributions they made to the world from 1900 to 1950. Familiar to audiences across the state, Glenda Carlile, in period costume, presents programs on Oklahoma’s outstanding women. She also is a noted book reviewer, primarily on books by Oklahoma authors or with an Oklahoma theme. The wife of an osteopathic physician, Glenda has three daughters and two grandchildren. She is known for her community and professional service including serving as the 1989-90 National president of the Auxiliary to the American Osteopathic Association. She is past president of the Oklahoma Center For The Book and an officer for the Oklahoma County Historical Society. Her numerous awards include the Auxiliary to the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association’s 1988 Woman of the Year, the 1990 Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and a joint resolution of commendation from the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the Oklahoma Senate in 1989.