Elinor Ostrom (August 7, 1933 - June 12, 2012) was an American scientist. She was born in Los Angeles, California. She taught at both Indiana University and Arizona State University. She won the Nobel Prize 2009 in Economic Sciences which she had to share with Oliver Williamson. Ostrom became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in this category. She was influenced by James M. Buchanan.
She was married to political scientist Vincent Ostrom (born 1919) from 1963 until she died. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2011 and died of the disease in Bloomington, Indiana at age 78.