Alcott, a suffragist, abolitionist and feminist as well as a writer, was born in Pennsylvania in 1832. She volunteered as a nurse during the American Civil War and was active in the women's suffrage movement; she became the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Mass.
As a novelist, Little Women was her first success. The book is a semi-autobiographical account of the lives of four sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March, from childhood to womanhood. Written in two parts in 1880, the novel was so successful initially that it sold out and it has remained a popular children's classic more than 100 years later.
The Google doodle, designed by Sophie Diao, portrays the sisters, as well as Jo's best friend Laurie, their neighbor.