Meet America's First Ever Black Female Senator

Carol Moseley Braun

Carol Moseley Braun was born on August 16, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois. From an early age she showed a great interest in political and social issues. This interest resulted in her becoming the first African-American female senator and also the first African-American senator from the Democratic Party.

Moseley Braun earned a BA in political science from the University of Illinois in 1969, graduated from the University of Chicago School of Law in 1972, and joined the Illinois State Bar in 1973. In the 1970s, she ran to be elected as a state legislature, and from 1977 to 1988, she served as an Illinois state representative.

In 1992, she became the first female senator from Illinois and the first African American woman to serve in the Senate. As a senator, Moseley Braun sponsored progressive education bills and campaigned for gun control. In 1999, she became the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand, a position she held until 2001.