WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach resident Nancy G. Brinker has been selected as one of USA TODAY’s “Women of the Century,” on the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, a date when some women earned the right to vote.
A panel selected the women they determined had made powerful steps toward advancing women’s lives in the last one hundred years. Their contributions span arts and literature, business, civil rights, education, entertainment, law, media, non-profits and philanthropy, politics, science and medicine, and sports.
"I look at the other people who are named and I think, I can’t believe I’m in such great company,' she said.
Brinker founded the largest breast cancer organization in the United States, named for her sister, Susan G. Komen. More recently, she has focused her efforts on a new personal mission: The Promise Fund of Florida.
Brinker worked with presidents and first ladies during multiple administrations to share the message of breast cancer survival. She was also the United States Ambassador to Hungary and Chief Protocol of the United States during the George W. Bush administration.
"Most of it requires resilience. Understanding, rarely do you have two fabulous days, one after the other. There’s always something that happens. And it’s that ability to navigate whatever it is to get to the next place, and not giving up," she said.
She is being recognized for her contributions to philanthropy.
“People don’t always paint a straight path for you or even a crooked path. You don’t know everything that can happen. And it’s really important for people to know, I’m a big believer in resilience and not quitting. And that if you do that all your life, you’re likely to get somewhere,” she said.
Brinker has worked for decades to overcome hurdles and help women.
“What really needs to happen now is a real step forward in disparities of care. In medical, in health equity, and social justice for care. Still, patients and people who have no care are not benefiting from what we have done in the entire cancer community in enough numbers to be able to say to ourselves, we are going to make this possible for everyone in the country to be able to have access to care, to be able to apply what we know, and to understand they have an obligation where there are free screenings offered, where is help offered, to take that help. Because it is possible now, if you have very early breast or cervical cancer, to be cured,” she said.
Watch the full interview with Nancy G. Brinker
August 18, 2020, at 8 p.m. EST, the network will live stream profiles and interviews with six women, including Brinker, on Facebook, and YouTube.