August 16

August 16, 1947 – Carol Moseley Braun

Sen. Carol Moseley Braun

Carol Moseley Braun, United States Senator from Illinois

America’s first female African American United States Senator and the first African American Senator from the Democratic Party, Carol Elizabeth Moseley Braun was born on August 16, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1969 and her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1972. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. The state of Illinois elected Braun to represent it in the United States Senate in 1992, she served one term from 1993 to 1999. Prior to being elected a U.S. Senator, she served from 1973 to 1977 as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office, as a Representative in the Illinois House from 1978 to 1988, and she also served from 1998 to 1992 as Cook County Recorder of Deeds . After the senate, she represented the United States as U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand from 1999 to 2001.

Carol Moseley Braun NZ

Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun

She ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for U.S. President in the 2004 Democratic Primary and as a mayoral candidate in the 2011 Chicago, Illinois election.  Braun is remembered not only as the first female African American United States Senator and the first African American Senator from the Democratic Party, but for being a strong advocate and fighter for civil rights during her tenure in the U.S. Senate.