Shirley Chisholm Facts

Shirley Chisholm Facts
Shirley Chisholm was an American politician, author, and educator best known for being the first African-American candidate to make a bid to become U.S. President, and the first African-American woman to be elected as a U.S. congresswoman. She was born Shirley Anita St. Hill on November 30th, 1924, in Brooklyn, NY, to Ruby Seale, a seamstress, and Charles Christopher St. Hill, a factory worker. At the age of five Shirley and her two sisters were sent to Barbados to live with their grandmother until she was 10, at which time she returned to the U.S. She was well-educated in Barbados and back in the U.S. where she graduated in 1946 with a bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College.
Interesting Shirley Chisholm Facts:
Shirley met Conrad O. Chisholm in the late 1940s and they were married in 1949.
Shirley Chisholm worked as a nursery school teacher while earning her Masters from Columbia University in 1952.
While working as an educational consultant for a day care in the early 1960s Shirley developed an interest in politics.
From 1965 to 1968 Shirley Chisholm was a Democrat in the New York State Assembly.
While working in the New York State Assembly Shirley was able to secure unemployment benefits for those working in domestic field.
Shirley was elected as a congresswoman from NY into the U.S. House of Representatives in 1968, making her the first African-American woman to win this position in government. She defeated two other African-American candidates for the position.
Shirley Chisholm served in the House of Representatives for seven terms.
Shirley Chisholm's first assignment in the House of Representatives was to the House Forestry Committee. She demanded to be reassigned. She was appointed to the Veterans' Affairs Committee, and then eventually the Education and Labor Committee.
In 1972 Shirley Chisholm became the first African-American to make a bid to become United States President, running for the Democratic nomination. She was also the first woman ever to run for the Democratic nomination.
When the bid for Democratic nomination failed, she reported that she felt it was based more on the fact that she was a woman than on the fact that she was African-American that she wasn't taken seriously.
Shirley Chisholm served as Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus from 1977 to 1981.
Shirley Chisholm was instrumental in improving the lives of inner-city residents in her terms in government. She worked to improve healthcare, social services, and education.
Shirley's first marriage ended in 1977 and she married Arthur Hardwick Jr., a former Assemblyman later in 1977.
Shirley retired from Congress in 1982, wishing to take care of Arthur, who had been injured in an accident.
Shirley returned to education and taught sociology and politics at Mount Holyoke College from 1983 to 1987.
In 1993 President Bill Clinton nominated Shirley Chisholm to be the U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica but her health prevented her from accepting.
Shirley Chisholm died on January 1st, 2005, at the age of 80.
Shirley Chisholm has been given many honors including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015, honorary doctorates in law at several universities, and a stamp in the Black Heritage U.S. stamp series.

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