What Does Behind Every Great Man Is A Great Woman Mean?

Behind Every Great Man Is A Great Woman Meaning

Definition: All successful men had a woman helping them to become successful.

Origin of Behind Every Great Man Is A Great Woman

This expression originated sometime in the first half of the 1900s. People use it to try to give recognition to the wives or mothers of successful men. This is because the women often helped the men in their lives a lot, but their work went unrecognized.

Examples of Behind Every Great Man Is A Great Woman

quote behind every great man is a great womanHere is an example of two family members using the expression while at home.

Grandmother: You look busy. What are you working on?

Granddaughter: I’m doing some research for an essay I have to write for my English class.

Grandmother: What is it about?

Granddaughter: I’m supposed to think about the quote behind every great man is a great woman and choose a woman to write about. It should be a woman who achieved great things in life, but didn’t receive as much recognition as her husband.

Grandmother: Oh, that sounds interesting! Who do you want to write about?

Granddaughter: I was thinking about writing about Michelle Obama, or Coretta Scott King. Michelle Obama’s husband was president, but she is a very accomplished woman in her own right. And Coretta Scott King’s husband was Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, who everyone respects and admires. But most people don’t know that she worked with him and continued working for the same causes after his assassination.

behind every successful man is a great woman The second dialogue shows a daughter and her father discussing a topic the daughter is studying at school.

Father: How’s school going?

Daughter: Today our topic was to discuss the idea that behind every great man is a great woman.

Father: How did it go?

Daughter: It’s a little sad to me that there are so many men in the history books, but so few women. Why do you think that is?

Father: I guess it’s because society didn’t like the idea of letting women work.

More Examples

This excerpt is about a politician running for governor, and his wife.

  • A few days before the election, a Chicago radio host introduced Bruce Rauner and wife Diana, telling listeners “behind every great man is a great woman.” –Chicago Tribune

This excerpt shows one woman introducing another at a gala.

  • Of Julia, Anne said, “I’m sure you’ve heard, ‘Behind every great man is a great woman,’ and as true as that is about Julia, it doesn’t do justice to the remarkable woman she is.” She highlighted Julia’s philanthropic efforts, her expertise as a licensed fly-fishing guide, and her talents as “hostess, devoted mother, grandmother and wonderful friend.” –OC Register


The saying behind every great man is a great woman is a popular saying that people use to give women credit when society has not recognized their achievements.