Rachel Louise Carson
In the late 1950s, Carson turned her attention to conservation and the environmental problems caused by synthetic pesticides (after noticing a decline in migrating songbirds). The result was Silent Spring (1962), which brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented portion of the American public. Silent Spring, while met with fierce denial from chemical companies, spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy—leading to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides—and the grassroots environmental movement the book inspired led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Carson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter.
Silent Spring is still relevant today and is an excellent read.