Notable Women From Canton
Women’s History Month starts March 1st and acknowledges the contributions that women have made in the world. To help celebrate, we have put together a list of notable women from Canton and their accomplishments. It’s impossible to measure their impact or include all notable women from Canton, but these are some of the women from Canton who left their mark on the world.
Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation was born in Canton on April 20, 1923. Born Rita Antoinette Rizzo, Mother Angelica spent her childhood in Canton, living in squalor and at the height of the Great Depression. Mother Angelica went on to found the Eternal Word Television Network in 1981. Originally broadcasting from a garage in Alabama, EWTN soon found influence over millions of Catholics. EWTN was also the launch pad for WEWN, a radio station that became nationally syndicated.
Born in Canton, December 18th 1944, Christine Craft has been a lawyer, journalist and news anchor. After signing a contract with KMBC-TV, she was demoted from news anchor to reporter because sbe was “too old, too unattractive and wouldn’t defer to men”. Craft filed a Chapter VII lawsuit and was awarded $500,000 twice by juries. Courts overturned both rulings and the Supreme Court wouldn’t take Craft’s case.
Marye Anne Fox
Born in Canton, December 9th, 1947, Marye Ann Fox was a chemist and university administrator. Fox was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2010 for her career’s work. She worked as a science advisor under President George W. Bush in his time as Governor of Texas and led the Center for Fast Kinetics Research and the National Organic Symposium. Marye Anne Fox passed away on May 9th, 2021.
Ida Saxton McKinley
Born in Canton, June 8th, 1847, Ida Saxton McKinley served as the First Lady of Ohio and as the First Lady of the United States. Born to wealthy Canton banker and founder of the Canton Repository, James Saxton, Ida Saxton married William McKinley at Christ Presbyterian Church, which still stands at 530 West Tusc. Ida Saxton McKinley is remembered for the challenges she faced in losing her children and husband and the loving relationship she had with William McKinley.
Declared a Servant of God by the Catholic church, Rhonda Wise moved to Canton in 1915. Starting in 1939 to her death in 1948, Wise began seeing visions of Jesus Christ in her Canton home. Her visions along with numerous unexplained healings and stigmata bleeding led to people believing Wise had a direct line to God. Many came to Wise’s home to be healed. Included in those masses was Mother Angelica, who Wise prayed over for 9 days and healed her stomach issues. After her death, over 14,000 people came to pay their respects. The Rhonda Wise House and Grotto still stand on 25th St NE in Canton.
Peggy Garner was born in Canton, Ohio on February 3rd, 1932. Her first role on film was in 1938 when Garner was pushed by her mother to perform. Garner struggled to find consistent acting work after growing out of childhood. She remained active through the 1960’s where she had small roles. Garner was on The Man From UNCLE, Perry Mason and had a memorable appearance as Becky Boldface, a henchwoman of the Riddler on the Batman TV show.
Natalie Renée McIntyre was born in Canton, Ohio on September 6th, 1967. Known by her stage name, Macy Gray, her smash hit “I Try” was one of the biggest songs of the late 90’s. Macy Gray actually took her stage name from a mailbox of a Macy Gray in Canton. An accomplished actress , Gray appeared in Training Day, Spiderman, Idlewild and Scary Movie 3.
Born in Canton on December 12th, 1981, Kate Quigley makes our list of notable women from Canton. She has worked as a model and actress, she is best known as a stand up comedian. She hosted the 2016 AVN awards and the show Undercover on Playboy TV.
The second African American woman to play on the LGPA and the current head pro at Clearview Golf Club, Renee Powell was born in Canton on May 4th, 1946. Her father was the first black owner and designer of a golf club. This allowed Powell to pick up the game at an early age. During her career, she competed in over 250 pro tournaments. Powell was inducted in to the PGA America Hall of Fame in 2003, joining her father.