Activist for women's rights who later joined the independence movements of India and Ireland.
After her father's death during her childhood, her mother went to work and persuaded a family friend to look after Annie.
In addition to taking part in leftist demonstrations, she grew interested in Theosophy, which drew her to India.
Through her marriage to Rev. Frank Besant she decided that helping the poor was more important than tending to their spirit.
Her views inspired another famed civil rights leader, Mahatma Gandhi.