Gao was born circa 695 CE in China during the Tang Dynasty. Her first name is unknown. Not much is known about her early life, but she became a military leader and strategist during Wu Zetian’s rule, the only woman to ever rule China in her own right.

The King of Tujue, Mochuo, attacked the Feihu District, which is now Laiyuan in the Hebei Province, Gao led a successful defense of the district. Mochuo was forced to give up the siege and leave. Wu Zetian, the empress of China, honored Gao for her successful defense and her ability to withstand pressure for the good of her country. She was awarded the title of District Mistress of Loyalty-Displaying.

Sources:

Pennington, Reina. Amazons to Fighter Pilots: A Biographical Dictionary of Military Women. Vol. 1. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 2003. Print.

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