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In 1960, a women had to get her husband's permission to apply for a credit card. Fast-forward to 2008, and a woman was campaigning for presidency. The cataclysmic change that happened in less than 50 years was not a predesigned, natural progression—it happened because a generation of women smashed all expectations about the role of the American woman.

Gail Collins, the first female editorial page editor for the New York Times, recounts the revolution in the lives of women in her book When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present. 

Meet five women who Collins says changed everything.
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