The Single Mother: An American Pop Culture Timeline

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A recent Pew study revealed that Americans are, at present, more accepting of LGBTQ families than of single mothers. But, as this timeline shows, single mothers aren’t exactly an anomaly in American culture or history despite having been long riddled with controversy.

From struggling single moms to Murphy Brown’s famous choice to go it alone with a baby, we’ve compiled a list to document some of the most notable single moms in the last century. The archetype has certainly come a long way, especially if you consider how many more examples there are.