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Front and back of card #38, Shari Lewis

Supersisters was a set of 72 trading cards produced and distributed in the United States in 1979 by Supersisters, Inc. They featured famous women from politics, media and entertainment, culture, sports, and other areas of achievement. The cards were designed in response to the trading cards popular among children in the US at the time which mostly featured men.[1]

The cards were created by Lois Rich of Irvington, New York, and her sister Barbara Egerman, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, a teacher, librarian, and founder of the Ohio chapter of the National Organization for Women. They conceived of the cards in 1978, after Rich's young daughter asked her why there were no women on trading cards. Rich also discovered that students at a local elementary school could not name five famous women. Rich and Egerman received a small grant from the New York State Education Department and wrote to nearly 500 prominent American women in various fields.[1][2][3] They purposely did not contact a number of notable women, including Anita Bryant, Angela Davis, Phyllis Schlafly, and the cast of Charlie's Angels. Jane Fonda, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, and Ella T. Grasso were among those who did not respond or declined to participate.[4][5] Of those who did respond, they included the first 72 in the trading card set, including Jane Pauley, Margaret Mead, and Gloria Steinem.[4][5] By 1981, they reported that they had sold 15,000 trading card sets, selling many to schools and colleges.[2]

Reaction to the cards was largely positive, though some later critics called the cards "misguided" and "trivial".[6][7] Sets of the trading cards are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the University of Iowa library.[7][8]

Card #[9] Name[9] Occupation
1 Chaffee, SuzySuzy Chaffee Olympic skier
2 Dickerson, NancyNancy Dickerson journalist
3 Schroeder, PatPat Schroeder US Congresswoman
4 Smith, Margaret ChaseMargaret Chase Smith US Congresswoman
5 Salvage, Lynn D.Lynn D. Salvage banker
6 Priesand, Sally J.Sally J. Priesand rabbi
7 Pogrebin , Letty CottinLetty Cottin Pogrebin author
8 Abzug, Bella S. Bella S. Abzug US Congresswoman
9 Reddy, HelenHelen Reddy singer
10 Gould , LoisLois Gould author
11 Manzano, SoniaSonia Manzano actress
12 Thomas, HelenHelen Thomas journalist
13 Hamilton, VirginiaVirginia Hamilton author
14 Hills , Carla Anderson Carla Anderson Hills lawyer, US cabinet level secretary
15 Smith, Mary LouiseMary Louise Smith chair of Republican National Committee
16 Mead, MargaretMargaret Mead anthropologist
17 Boglioli , Wendy Wendy Boglioli Olympic swimmer
18 Harris, JulieJulie Harris actress
19 Casals , Rosie Rosie Casals tennis player
20 Peterson, EllyElly Peterson politician
21 Oakar, Mary RoseMary Rose Oakar US Congresswoman
22 Winikow , LindaLinda Winikow New York State Senator
23 Franks , LucindaLucinda Franks journalist
24 Tiburzi , Bonnie Bonnie Tiburzi First female pilot to fly for a major U.S. airline.
25 Sullivan, Leonor K. Leonor K. Sullivan US Congresswoman
26 Bird, CarolineCaroline Bird author
27 Parks , RosaRosa Parks civil rights pioneer
28 Meyner , Helen StevensonHelen Stevenson Meyner US Congresswoman
29 Dwyer , Doriot AnthonyDoriot Anthony Dwyer flautist
30 Cochran , LindyLindy Cochran skier
31 Kumin, MaxineMaxine Kumin poet
32 Steinem , GloriaGloria Steinem author
33 Spellman, Gladys NoonGladys Noon Spellman US Congresswoman
34 Reynolds , MalvinaMalvina Reynolds singer-songwriter
35 Smeal, Eleanor CutriEleanor Cutri Smeal National Organization for Women president
36 Carr , AnnAnn Carr gymnast
37 Ching, Laura LeeLaura Lee Ching surfer
38 Lewis , ShariShari Lewis entertainer
39 Mikulski, Barbara A.Barbara A. Mikulski US Congresswoman
40 Monk , MeredithMeredith Monk composer and choreographer
41 Proctor, Barbara GardnerBarbara Gardner Proctor advertising
42 Graham , KatharineKatharine Graham newspaper publisher
43 Dee, RubyRuby Dee actress
44 Thomas , MarloMarlo Thomas actress
45 Switzer, KathrineKathrine Switzer author, runner
46 Gorman , MikiMiki Gorman runner
47 Cochran, Barbara AnnBarbara Ann Cochran Olympic skier
48 Turnbull, WendyWendy Turnbull tennis player
49 Hufstedler, Shirley M.Shirley M. Hufstedler federal judge, US cabinet level secretary
50 Johnson, KathyKathy Johnson gymnast
51 Weill , ClaudiaClaudia Weill film director
52 Pauley , JaneJane Pauley journalist
53 Guthrie , JanetJanet Guthrie race car driver
54 Callier , Debbie GaryDebbie Gary Callier pilot
55 Alexander , JaneJane Alexander actress
56 Trahey , JaneJane Trahey advertising
57 Pfeiffer , Jane CahillJane Cahill Pfeiffer television executive
58 Nelson , CindyCindy Nelson skier
59 Schwandt , RhondaRhonda Schwandt gymnast
60 Quinn , Jane BryantJane Bryant Quinn journalist
61 Weddington , SarahSarah Weddington lawyer
62 Morgan , RobinRobin Morgan author
63 Cassello , JackieJackie Cassello gymnast
64 Mason, Cathy RigbyCathy Rigby Mason Olympic gymnast
65 Smith, MelanieMelanie Smith Olympic equestrian
66 Sainte-Marie , BuffyBuffy Sainte-Marie singer
67 Dunn , NatalieNatalie Dunn roller skater
68 Carr, CathyCathy Carr Olympic swimmer
69 Uggams, LeslieLeslie Uggams actress
70 Hayes, HelenHelen Hayes actress
71 Chisholm, ShirleyShirley Chisholm US Congresswoman
72 Shange , NtozakeNtozake Shange poet


  1. ^ a b Ferritti, Fred (9 Mar 1980). "Success was in the Cards". New York Times. pp. WC10. 
  2. ^ a b Haitch, Richard (25 October 1981). "Follow-Up on the News; 'Supersisters'". New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Irwin, Victoria (20 February 1980). "'I'll trade you a Pete Rose for your Jane Pauley'". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Baranski, Lynne (7 April 1980). "Hey, I'll Swap Ya a Stargell for a Steinem! A Sister Team Creates Female Trading Cards That Flip the Kids". People. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Feminine trading cards are big rage". The Day. Associated Press. 10 November 1980. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  6. ^ Levy, Alan H. (5 December 2013). The Political Life of Bella Abzug, 1976–1998: Electoral Failures and the Vagaries of Identity Politics. Lexington Books. p. 162. ISBN 978-0-7391-8725-8. 
  7. ^ a b Dorpinghaus, Sarah (8 April 2008). "IDL staff pick: Supersisters trading cards, 1979". Digital Research & Publishing, University of Iowa Libraries. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Zanis, Liz (3 April 2014). "Collecting Inspiration with Supersisters". Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  9. ^ a b The entire Supersisters card set is viewable online at the University of Iowa Digital Libraries at

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