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Barbara Jordan
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U.S. Congressman
    (February 21, 1936-January 17, 1996)
    Graduated magna cum laude from Texas Southern University (1956)
    Graduated from Boston University Law School (1959)
    Texas State Senator (1966-1972)
    Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1973-1979)
    First African-American since Reconstruction to be elected to the Texas Senate
    First female African-American from the South to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives
    First woman, and African-American, to deliver a keynote address to the Democratic national convention (1976)
    Inducted to the National Women's Hall of Fame (1990) and the African-American Hall of Fame (1993)
    Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton (1994)
    Received 31 honorary doctorate degrees from U.S. institutions
    Confined to a wheelchair later in life due to multiple sclerosis
    Died of pneumonia and leukemia at age 59
    Her front teeth were huge.
    She ran for the Texas House of Representatives in 1962 and 1964 and lost both times.
    While a House member, she wrote her autobiography: 'Barbara Jordan: A Self Portrait' (1979).
    Though a great orator, she kept silent about her lesbianism.
    As a member of the House Judiciary Committee during the 1974 Watergate hearings, she was in favor of impeaching Richard Nixon delivering a speech many considered the best of the hearings.
    As keynote speaker for the 1976 Democratic national convention, her 'Who Then Will Speak For The Common Good?' speech drew critical praise, rallying support for Jimmy Carter's campaign.
    In 1984, she was recognized by the International Platform Association as the 'Best Living Orator' with quotes like: 'A spirit of harmony can only survive if each of us remembers, when bitterness and self-interest seem to prevail, that we share a common destiny.'
    When her political career was over, rather than go back to law practice, she became a professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs - University of Texas at Austin.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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