11 Non-Fiction Books About Famous Women That You Should Read

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1943: Austrian-born actor Hedy Lamarr (1913 – 2000) reclining on a crescent moon in front of a starry night-time backdrop, in a promotional portrait from director Alexander Hall’s film, ‘The Heavenly Body.’ (Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

4. Beautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr

Without actress Hedy Lamarr, we probably wouldn’t have cellphones, WiFi, or basically any method of wireless communication. Just let that sink in.

Then go take a peek at Beautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr.

Author Stephen Michael Shearer takes a look at Lamarr’s more famous career as an actress as well as her arguably more important one as an inventor. Together with a composer, she invented frequency hopping. The technology essentially reduces interference and allows many different wireless devices to operate in close quarters.

Shearer doesn’t ignore her earlier work in Vienna prior to arriving in Hollywood, either, and doesn’t shy away from discussing her troubles, including lawsuits she found herself embroiled in. As the book’s description states, he worked closely with her children and friends to produce this work.

Goodreads praises how in-depth it is, along with the contribution from Turner Classic Movies’ Robert Osborne, who wrote the foreword. Some also enjoyed how Shearer captured her sadness, including her multiple marriages.

For more reading, check out Ecstasy and Me: My Life as a Woman, Lamarr’s autobiography published after her death. You can also try Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman on Film from Ruth Barton.