Mother Teresa may have appeared small and frail, but her legacy is big and strong. Born in Macedonia in 1910, she became a missionary at age 18. She went on to work in India, where she taught at the Loreto convent school in Calcutta.
On Sept. 10, 1946, she felt a calling from God to not just work with the poorest people in India, but to live among them. By 1950, she had established the Missionaries of Charity; it began with only 12 members but has grown to more than 4,500 who run dozens of orphanages, AIDS hospices and other charity centers throughout the world.
In 1979, she won a Nobel Peace Prize for her work, which made her name synonymous with compassion and charity. Even after her death in 1997, her memory remains a bright light in the world.
Joan of Arc was only a teen when, in 1429, she led French armies against the English occupation of their country. Claiming she was guided by visions from God, she was a great strategist and leader who helped defeat a well-trained British army.
She was later captured, tried for heresy and found guilty in a trial that is one of history's most infamous. At age 19, she was burned at the stake, earning her a reputation as a heroine and martyr.
In 1920, she was canonized, making her one of the patron saints of France. To this day, she remains one of the most popular Roman Catholic saints.
Marilyn Monroe is best remembered as a blonde bombshell, famous off-camera and on from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. She was more than a sex symbol, though, and she refused to be stereotyped as a dumb blonde. She spoke out in support of equal rights for everyone and discussed politics with President John F. Kennedy and his brother, Senator Robert Kennedy.
Her death at age 36 is still the subject of much debate, and led to her becoming an icon. Now, 51 years after her death, she is as popular as ever. Monroe is one of the top-grossing dead celebrities, with image rights and other things earning her estate millions of dollars each year.