Annie Besant was the first woman President of Indian National Congress. She presided over the 1917 Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress. Annie Besant was of Irish origin and was one of the few foreigners who played a significant role in the Indian freedom movement.
Annie Besant was born as Annie Woods in London on October 1, 1847. In
1867 Annie married Frank Besant, a clergymen, and they had two children.
However, Annie and Frank were legally separated in 1873. Annie Besant
became interested in Theosophy, a religious movement founded in 1875 and
based on Hindu ideas of karma and reincarnation. She later on became
leader of Theosophical society.
Annie Besant first visited India in 1893 and later settled here. She
became involved in the Indian freedom movement. In 1916 she established
the Indian Home Rule League, which demanded self-rule for India. Annie
Besant died in India on 20 September 1933.