Josephine Baker, a.k.a. Freda Josephine McDonald, June 3, 1906 - April 12, 1975.

Badassness: Josephine grew up poor in St. Louis, Missouri, dropping out of school at 13 to be a busker and supporting herself with her dancing. At 15 she joined a vaudeville show and then moved to New York during the Harlem Renaissance to perform in Broadway revues. She found her home and fame in Paris, where she was adored for her erotic dancing and performances at the Folies Bergère. She also starred in 3 French films.

Everything this woman did was badass: she was the first black woman to star in a major motion picture (Zouzou), adopted 12 children from all over the world, owned a pet cheetah named Chiquita (as well as a pet gorilla, pig and goat, parrot, monkeys, mice, and snakes), and was close friends with Grace Kelly, a.k.a. Princess Grace of Monaco. She was also active in the US civil rights movement, speaking at the March on Washington and leveraging her position as a popular entertainer to boycott segregated venues.

To top it all, Josephine was a spy for the French Resistance in World War II. She would gather information about German troops movements at society parties, and would carry intelligence info around Europe written in invisible ink on her sheet music, or pinned to her underwear. After the war Jospehine received medals of honor and was made a Chevalier in the Legion of Honor.

Bisexuality: Josephine was confirmed as bisexual by her son, Jean-Claude Baker, in his book, Josephine: The Hungry Heart. Josephine was married 4 times. Although secretive about her relationships with women during her lifetime, 7 of her relationships with women have since been confirmed (including fellow badass bisexual Frida Kahlo), and she was rumored to have had dozens more affairs with people of various genders. In fact, she was so loved that two men once dueled over her with swords in a cemetery (no one died - she let them fight for a while and then calmed them down).

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