Nearly a century and a half before Hillary Clinton, a fiery activist from Ohio became the first woman nominated for U.S. president.
Victoria Woodhull’s varied and colorful life makes her difficult to pigeonhole. The suffragist, medium, businesswoman, stockbroker and newspaper publisher was “Mrs. Satan” to some, a visionary champion of women’s and children’s rights to others.
She rode motorcycles, preached “free love” and followed the guidance of an ancient Greek orator she believed had presented himself to her as a spirit guide.
The Equal Rights Party nominated Woodhull to face incumbent Republican Ulysses S. Grant in 1872 and Democrat Horace Greeley, nearly 50 years before women had the right to vote. At 34, she was a few months shy of the required age, but most historians still view her nomination and run as the first.
Woodhull lost, of course, but by how much is unclear.
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