5. She Was Originally A Wealthy Archeologist
Career changes are a pretty popular thing nowadays. Don't like your boring 9-5 job? Try learning some new skills and enter another field. In the world of comics, that is the story of every major character's life; gain some new powers and begin your other life as a masked hero/vigilante/villain.
Cheetah was no exception to the rule. Barbara Ann Minerva was in fact a respected archeologist before a fateful trip to Africa. In fact it was her job that led the birth of Cheetah. The African expedition to unearth a lost city led her straight to a secret civilization who were amidst a ritual to create a human avatar for their God.
A few ambushes and cave-ins later, and she got the job. What's more, her only source of income weren't the checks from dig sites and museums - she was born rich. The heir to a vast family fortune in Nottinghamshire, England, she didn't need the life of crime - she just chose it instead.