Not too long ago — when the poster child for “family” was displayed on “Father Knows Best,” “Leave It to Beaver” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show” — a woman raising a child without a husband was not widely accepted. In fact, some people — perhaps, at one time, even you — frowned upon such women. Since then, be it from forward-thinking Gloria Steinem, “That Girl” or “Murphy Brown,” we’ve grown to realize that women are more than capable of single-handedly running a household. Women can have complete lives (careers, children, fun) without a spouse. Today, we do not have to wait to find Mr. Right to start a family. Or, if Mr. Right turns out to be Mr. Wrong and the marriage ends, a woman can be the sole wearer of the pants. From Diane Keaton and Sandra Bullock to Toni Morrison and Linda Ronstadt, here are 18 well-known women who helped to re-define our image of “nuclear” family and shaped single motherhood into the fabulous role that it is today.
Who did we miss? Let us know below and we’ll add to our list.