Angelina Jolie celebrates 40 years of empowerment

Angelina Jolie Biography Updated
Angelina Jolie Biography Updated

With a resumé that includes a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an Academy Award, three Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, directorial success, and work as Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, you might think that Angelina Jolie is nearing her twilight years, but don't be fooled. Thursday is Angelina Jolie's 40th birthday. That's right, she's accomplished more than a lifetime of success in only 40 years.

In addition to her impressive humanitarian efforts, Jolie earned widespread praise for using her personal health condition to shed light on an alarmingly common issue. Angelina inspired millions to get serious about personal health as a result of her 2014 preventative mastectomy and subsequent ovarian and fallopian tube removal this year due to a defective genome. Many have credited her for stirring discussion about the pros and cons of preventative surgeries for women prone to breast cancer.

In a recent piece for the New York Times, Jolie wrote:

"Regardless of the hormone replacements I'm taking, I am now in menopause. I will not be able to have any more children, and I expect some physical changes...I feel deeply for women for whom this moment comes very early in life, before they have had their children. Their situation is far harder than mine."

Forbes recently named Jolie the 54th most powerful woman in the world. She was also named the highest-paid actress in 2008 and her recent writing and directing efforts have proven successful too.

Jolie's advocacy for women with cancer or defective genes, her activism regarding issues with the U.N. Security Council, her philanthropic projects, and her incredible film career has made her one of the world's most powerful women.

To top it all off, she somehow manages to mother six children with husband Brad Pitt. If anyone deserves a special birthday celebration, it's Angelina Jolie. Happy birthday Angelina!

Click through this slideshow to see pictures of Angelina Jolie conquering her incredible career throughout the years:

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