Shirley Chisholm

Introduction

Pioneering African-American politician Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005) began her professional career as a teacher. She served as director of the Hamilton-Madison Child Care Center until the late 1950s, then as an educational consultant for New York City’s Bureau of Child Welfare. In 1968, Chisolm became the first African-American to earn election to Congress, where she worked on the Education and Labor Committee and helped form the Black Caucus. In 1972, she made history again by becoming the first black woman of a major party to run for a presidential nomination. After serving seven terms in the House, Chisholm retired from office to become a teacher and public speaker.

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In 1969, Chisholm became the first black congresswoman and began the first of seven terms. After initially being assigned to the House Forestry Committee, she shocked many by demanding reassignment. She was placed on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, eventually graduating to the Education and Labor Committee. She became one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1969.

Chisholm became the first African American woman to make a bid to be President of the United States when she ran for the Democratic nomination in 1972. A champion of minority education and employment opportunities throughout her tenure in Congress, Chisholm was also a vocal opponent of the draft. After leaving Congress in 1983, she taught at Mount Holyoke College and was popular on the lecture circuit.

Chisholm was married to Conrad Chisholm from 1949 to 1977. She wed Arthur Hardwick, Jr. in 1986. She is the author of two books, Unbought and Unbossed (1970) and The Good Fight (1973).

Biography courtesy of BIO.com

Article Details:

Shirley Chisholm

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2009

  • Title

    Shirley Chisholm

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/topics/shirley-chisholm

  • Access Date

    July 25, 2014

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks