Supersisters was a set of 72 trading cards produced and distributed in the United States in 1979 by Supersisters, Inc. They featured famous women from politics, media and entertainment, culture, sports, and other areas of achievement. The cards were designed in response to the trading cards popular among children in the US at the time which mostly featured men.
The cards were created by Lois Rich of Irvington, New York, and her sister Barbara Egerman, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, a teacher, librarian, and founder of the Ohio chapter of the National Organization for Women. They conceived of the cards in 1978, after Rich's young daughter asked her why there were no women on trading cards. Rich also discovered that students at a local elementary school could not name five famous women. Rich and Egerman received a small grant from the New York State Education Department and wrote to nearly 500 prominent American women in various fields. They purposely did not contact a number of notable women, including Anita Bryant, Angela Davis, Phyllis Schlafly, and the cast of Charlie's Angels. Jane Fonda, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, and Ella T. Grasso were among those who did not respond or declined to participate. Of those who did respond, they included the first 72 in the trading card set, including Jane Pauley, Margaret Mead, and Gloria Steinem. By 1981, they reported that they had sold 15,000 trading card sets, selling many to schools and colleges.
Reaction to the cards was largely positive, though some later critics called the cards "misguided" and "trivial". Sets of the trading cards are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the University of Iowa library.
|1||Suzy Chaffee||Olympic skier|
|3||Pat Schroeder||US Congresswoman|
|4||Margaret Chase Smith||US Senator|
|5||Lynn D. Salvage||banker|
|6||Sally J. Priesand||rabbi|
|7||Letty Cottin Pogrebin||author|
|8||Bella S. Abzug||US Congresswoman|
|14||Carla Anderson Hills||lawyer, US cabinet level secretary|
|15||Mary Louise Smith||chair of Republican National Committee|
|17||Wendy Boglioli||Olympic swimmer|
|19||Rosie Casals||tennis player|
|21||Mary Rose Oakar||US Congresswoman|
|22||Linda Winikow||New York State Senator|
|24||Bonnie Tiburzi||First female pilot to fly for a major U.S. airline.|
|25||Leonor K. Sullivan||US Congresswoman|
|27||Rosa Parks||civil rights pioneer|
|28||Helen Stevenson Meyner||US Congresswoman|
|29||Doriot Anthony Dwyer||flautist|
|33||Gladys Noon Spellman||US Congresswoman|
|35||Eleanor Cutri Smeal||National Organization for Women president|
|37||Laura Lee Ching||surfer|
|39||Barbara A. Mikulski||US Congresswoman|
|40||Meredith Monk||composer and choreographer|
|41||Barbara Gardner Proctor||advertising|
|42||Katharine Graham||newspaper publisher|
|45||Kathrine Switzer||author, runner|
|47||Barbara Ann Cochran||Olympic skier|
|48||Wendy Turnbull||tennis player|
|49||Shirley M. Hufstedler||federal judge, US cabinet level secretary|
|51||Claudia Weill||film director|
|53||Janet Guthrie||race car driver|
|54||Debbie Gary Callier||pilot|
|57||Jane Cahill Pfeiffer||television executive|
|60||Jane Bryant Quinn||journalist|
|64||Cathy Rigby Mason||Olympic gymnast|
|65||Melanie Smith||Olympic equestrian|
|67||Natalie Dunn||roller skater|
|68||Cathy Carr||Olympic swimmer|
|71||Shirley Chisholm||US Congresswoman|
- Ferritti, Fred (9 Mar 1980). "Success was in the Cards". New York Times. pp. WC10.
- Haitch, Richard (25 October 1981). "Follow-Up on the News; 'Supersisters'". New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
- Irwin, Victoria (20 February 1980). "'I'll trade you a Pete Rose for your Jane Pauley'". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
- Baranski, Lynne (7 April 1980). "Hey, I'll Swap Ya a Stargell for a Steinem! A Sister Team Creates Female Trading Cards That Flip the Kids". People. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- "Feminine trading cards are big rage". The Day. Associated Press. 10 November 1980. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- Levy, Alan H. (5 December 2013). The Political Life of Bella Abzug, 1976–1998: Electoral Failures and the Vagaries of Identity Politics. Lexington Books. p. 162. ISBN 978-0-7391-8725-8.
- Dorpinghaus, Sarah (8 April 2008). "IDL staff pick: Supersisters trading cards, 1979". Digital Research & Publishing, University of Iowa Libraries. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- Zanis, Liz (3 April 2014). "Collecting Inspiration with Supersisters". Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- The entire Supersisters card set is viewable online at the University of Iowa Digital Libraries at http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/founders/id/4267/rec/1
- Supersisters trading cards at Iowa Digital Library