African American educator and U.S. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm speaks at a podium at the Democratic National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida, July 1972. (Photo by Pictorial Parade/Getty Images)

Shirley Anita Chisholm (November 30, 1924 – January 1, 2005) was an American politician, educator, and author. In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to the United States Congress, and she represented New York’s 12th congressional district for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1972, she became the first black candidate for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, as well as the first woman to appear in a United States presidential debate.

In 2015, Chisholm was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


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