Name: Carla Bruni
Lifetime: 1967 – present
What She’s Known For: Bruni was a former first lady of France as wife of President Nicolas Sarkozy. A native Italian, she called France her new home and wanted to contribute there. Her younger brother Virginio Tedeschi passed away at 47 from complications from HIV/AIDS, heavily impacting Bruni and prompting her to engage in humanitarian work regarding relief from HIV/AIDS epidemic.
She was a 2008 world ambassador for protecting women and children from AIDS. In addition she is part of the Born HIV Free campaign and AIDES, a French association for AIDS research. She became controversial because of her criticism of the Pope Benedict XVI regarding the Church’s views on religion and AIDS. Beyond HIV/AIDS, she is a champion for ending violence against animals and is staunchly against the use of animal fur to make clothing.
Why We Love Her: Carla Bruni has had many careers, including model, singer-songwriter, first lady and a philanthropist. Bruni proves that women can do, well, pretty much anything. She owns her body, her image and her work, and is confident in how she projects herself. Her success is self-made; she started her life as a refugee, escaping a wave of brutality by left-wing Red Brigades and today she stands strong as a French transplant who never forgets her roots.
Fun fact: As a singer-songwriter, she has sold more than two million records. You may recognize one of her songs “Le Plus Beau du Quartier” from “500 Days of Summer.”
READ MORE: #WomenThatDid: Zsa Zsa Gabor
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