Chicago’s Lorraine Hansberry among women hall of fame honorees

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Lorraine Hansberry | SUN-TIMES FILE PHOTO

SENECA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — “A Raisin in the Sun” author Lorraine Hansberry, former New York first lady and mentoring champion Matilda Raffa Cuomo and autism and livestock advocate Temple Grandin will be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame as part of the 10-member class of 2017, the hall announced Tuesday.

Joining them will be: Victoria Jackson, a makeup artist and philanthropist; Sherry Lansing, the first woman to head a major film studio; former U.S. Rep. Clare Boothe Luce of Connecticut; actress Aimee Mullins of “Stranger Things;” Carol Mutter, the first woman Marine three-star general; geneticist Janet Rowley, and Alice Waters, a chef and sustainable agriculture advocate.

The group will be inducted Sept. 16 during a ceremony in Seneca Falls, the site of the first women’s rights convention. The hall of fame opened in the upstate New York town in 1969 and has since recognized 266 women for their contributions in the fields of the arts, athletics, business, education, science, humanities, philanthropy and government.

All but three in this year’s class are still living. Hansberry, who was born in Chicago, is the first black playwright to receive the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for best American play. She died in 1965. The Goodman Theatre most recently staged “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window, (May 2016), Hansberry’s final work, one that opened on Broadway in 1964 and closed just a few months later on the night of her death.

Luce, a former editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair and World War II journalist, died in 1987, four years after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Rowley, whose work led to successful cancer therapies, also received the presidential honor, in 2009. She died in 2013.

Classes are inducted every other year.

Contributing: Sun-Times staff reporter Miriam Di Nunzio

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