Having been heavily involved in the Woman’s Suffrage movement, Katharine Dexter McCormick had a lifelong passion for women’s rights. Throughout the 1920s she focused her efforts on birth control issues, even going as far as smuggling diaphragms from Europe to New York City. When the deaths of her husband and her mother left her with a large fortune, Katharine knew she had to do more.
In 1953, McCormick met with Gregory Goodwin Pincus who had been working on developing a hormonal birth control method. She agreed to fund his research and donated $2 million to develop and test the first oral contraceptive pill. The Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of the Pill in 1957 and today it is the leading form of contraception, used by millions of women around the world.