Distinguished Women of Past and Present

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Barbara Charline Jordan

1936-1996
From: United States: Texas
Fields: Government and Politics, Law
 
Jordan, Barbara Charline (1936-1996), American politician and educator, member of the United States House of Representatives from 1972 to 1978.

Born in Houston, Texas, on February 21, 1936, she earned a bachelor's degree from Texas Southern University and a law degree from Boston University Law School in 1959. After graduation she returned to Texas to work for a judge in Harris County.

In 1960 she worked for the campaign to nominate John F. Kennedy as the Democratic party's presidential candidate. In 1966 Jordan became the first black woman to win a seat in the Texas Senate. She authored the state's first successful minimum-wage bill and pushed for civil rights legislation.

In 1972 Jordan was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She took a seat on the Judiciary Committee, where she earned national attention for her eloquent speech in favor of impeaching President Richard M. Nixon (1969-74) during the Watergate affair. She also delivered the keynote address at the 1976 Democratic Convention. In 1978 Jordan left the House to teach public policy at the University of Texas at Austin.

In 1982 she was awarded the university's Lyndon B. Johnson chair of National Policy. During the 1992 Democratic Convention, Jordan earned praise for her powerful speech against racism and intolerance among both whites and blacks.

"Jordan, Barbara Charline" Microsoft(R) Encarta.
Copyright(c) 1995 Microsoft Corporation.

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