The woman who has inspired me the most is Theodora.
My dream has always been to make books. I started a publishing company in 1989—the symbol is Theodora. While I am supposed to be talking about women that have inspired me, I was also greatly inspired by a letter from my Father. He wrote to remind me that Theodora was a lesson for life. Her will to win was stronger than her fear of loss. Of humble origins, she became the wife of the Emperor Justinian and, at a time of extreme civil conflict in the Imperial city of Constantinople, when all seemed lost and everyone was abandoning the city and the Emperor, Theodora was said to speak the words:
"In my opinion, flight is not the right course, even if it should bring us to safety. It is impossible for a person, having been born into this world, not to die; but it is intolerable to be a fugitive. If you wish to save yourself, my lord, there is no difficulty. I gladly exchange such safety for death. As for me, I agree with the adage that the royal purple is the noblest shroud."
Theodora saved the Byzantine Empire. Justinian would go on to completely rebuild the Church of Hagia Sophia, today one of the world's greatest architectural treasures in Istanbul; Theodora would go on to raise the legal status of women and establish protections for their health and welfare in the city, and throughout the Empire.