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Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm

Born on 11-30-1924. She was born in Brooklyn, NY. She was accomplished in the area of Politics. She later died on 1-1-2005.
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"The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says: It's a girl." Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm was born Shirley Anita St. Hill on November 30, 1924 in Brooklyn, Kings County, N.Y. and attended public schools in Brooklyn, N.Y. She attended Brooklyn College, where she received a B.A. in 1946. In 1952 she received an M.A. from Columbia University and accepted a position as a nursery school teacher where she worked from 1946-1953. In 1949, she married Conrad Chisholm, a Jamaican who worked as a private investigator. Shirley and her husband participated in local politics, helping form the Bedford-Stuyvesant political League. In 1953 she became Director of the Hamilton-Madison Child Care Center, New York City, where she worked until 1959. She was a consultant to the Division of Day Care, New York City from 1959-1964. In 1960, she started the Unity Democratic Club. The Unity Club was instrumental in mobilizing black and Hispanic voters.

Her political career began in 1964 when she was elected to the New York State Legislature. She served as an Assemblywoman, from 1964-1968. During her tenure in the legislature, she proposed a bill to provide state aid to day-care centers and voted to increase funding for schools on a per-pupil basis. In 1968, after finishing her term in the legislature, Chisholm campaigned to represent New York's Twelfth Congressional District. Her campaign slogan was "Fighting Shirley Chisholm--Unbought and Unbossed." She won the election and became the first African American woman elected to Congress. She worked hard in Congress and was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

On January 25, 1972, Chisholm announced her candidacy for the Presidency of the United States. She stood before the cameras and in the beginning of her speech she said, "I stand before you today as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States. I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud. I am not the candidate of the women's movement of this country, although I am a woman, and I am equally proud of that. I am not the candidate of any political bosses or special interests. I am the candidate of the people."

Chisholm threw her hat into the ring for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States. The 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami was the first major convention in which any woman was considered for the presidential nomination. Although she did not win the nomination, she received 151 of the delegates' votes. She continued to serve in the House of Representatives until 1982. She retired from politics after her last term in office.

Congresswoman Chisholm met her future husband, Arthur Hardwick, Jr. of Buffalo in 1966 when they both served in the New York State Legislature. On November 26, 1977, Mr. Hardwick and Ms. Chisholm were married. Mr. Hardwick died on August 18, 1986. He is buried, as is his wife, in the Birchwood Mausoleum of Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, New York.

Despite her retirement from politics, Chisholm also maintained an interest in local educational issues in Buffalo, New York. In 1989, she supported the fledgling Buffalo-based Concerned Parents and Citizens for Quality Education, an organization founded by Co-Founders of the Uncrowned Queens Institute for Research and Education on Women, Inc. She appeared on their weekly television program, Education in Review, and spoke at public meetings on their behalf.

Shirley Chisholm was also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and a life member of the NAACP. In 1993, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. Chisholm also authored two books, Unbought and Unbossed (1970) and The Good Fight (1973). She received many honorary degrees, and her awards include Alumna of the Year, Brooklyn College; Key Woman of the Year; Outstanding Work in the Field of Child Welfare; and Woman of Achievement. Shirley Chisholm passed away on January 1, 2005 and is interred in Forest Lawn Cemetery next to her husband.

Photo: Sandi Sissel, 2003