Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (b. November 30, 1924), American politician, educator, and author. She was a Congresswoman representing New York District 12 from 1969-1983. In 1968 she was elected to Congress, becoming the first African-American woman to be elected to Congress in United States History.
Chisholm was born and raised in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. She graduated from Brooklyn's public school and then earned a Bachelor of the Arts degree from Brooklyn College in 1949. While working as a teacher she earned a Masters from Columbia University. From 1953-1959 she was the director for Hamilton-Madison Child Care Center and from 1959-1964 she was an educational consultant for Division of Day Care.
In 1964 she ran and was elected to the New York State Legislature. She ran as the Democratic Party candidate for New York's 12th district U.S House in 1968. She defeated the Republican candidate, James Farmer, to become the first African-American woman elected to Congress.
Chisolm joined the Congressional Black Caucus in 1969, as one of its founding members. In 1972 Chisholm made a bid for the Democratic Party's Presidential nomination, and received 151 delegate votes, but ultimately lost the nomination to South Dakota Senator George McGovern. Throughout her tenure in congress Chisholm would work to improve opportunities for the inner city residents. She was a vocal opponent to the draft. She supported increases in spending on education, health care, and other social services and reductions in military spending. She announced her retirement from government in 1982 and was replaced by a fellow Democrat in 1983.
Chisholm has authored two books, Unbought and Unbossed (1970) and The Good Fight (1973). In 1993 she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
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