Carol Moseley-Braun

U.S. Senator

Born: 16 August 1947
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Best known as: The first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate

Name at birth: Carol Moseley

Carol Moseley-Braun became the first female senator from Illinois (and the first female African-American ever in the U.S. Senate) when she was elected to Congress in 1992. She received her bachelors degree from the University of Illinois in 1969. In 1972 she earned a law degree from the University of Chicago, and the next year joined the U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago. Moseley-Braun served in the Illinois state Senate from 1979-87 and in 1992 was elected to her U.S. Senate seat. After serving one term she was defeated by Republican Peter Fitzgerald in 1998. She then served as the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand from 1999-2001 under appointment from President Bill Clinton. In 2003 she began a run for the Democratic nomination for president, but she withdrew from the race in January 2004, endorsing Howard Dean instead.

Extra credit: Braun is divorced from Michael Braun (married 1973-86), a white fellow student she met at the University of Chicago; they have one child, also named Michael.

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