Adelaide Su-Lin Young
"She was very strong. She had to be to do what she did."
Photo via SFgate
Adelaide "Su-Lin" Young (1911-2008) was an American explorer, journalist, and disc jockey. A Chinese American, she was the first American woman to explore the Himalayas in the 1930s and Su Lin, the first giant panda brought to the United States, was named for her.
Via The Times: The sight of someone brushing their teeth might seem commonplace enough, but in the remote hinterland of China in the 1930s it drew a crowd of curious onlookers. They were more puzzled still that this strange act was being performed by a woman who appeared Chinese but was dressed as a foreigner: Su-Lin Young.
She would soon win fame when her name was given to the first panda brought to the West, but her more permanent legacy was as one of a band of intrepid female travellers of the time who showed that they were men’s equals in courage and adventure.