Distinguished Women of Past and Present

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Shirley Chisholm

1924-2005
From: United States: New York
Fields: Government and Politics
 
Chisholm, Shirley (1924- ), American legislator, who in 1968 became the first black woman elected to the Congress of the United States. Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was born in Brooklyn, New York, and educated at Brooklyn College and Columbia University. In 1953, having worked as a teacher and director of nursery schools and child-care centers, she joined the New York City Bureau of Child Welfare. Turning to politics, she served in the New York State Assembly from 1964 to 1968. Elected to Congress in 1968, she served in the United States House of Representatives for seven terms (1969-1983), advocating women's rights, abortion reform, day care, environmental protection, job training, and an end to the Vietnam War (1959-1975). She also spoke out against the seniority system in Congress. Chisholm ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972. After declining to run for an eighth term in the House of Representatives in 1982, Chisholm became a professor at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She wrote Unbought and Unbossed (1970) and The Good Fight (1973).

"Chisholm, Shirley"Microsoft® Encarta.
Copyright© 1995 Microsoft Corporation.

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