WASHINGTON, DC -- Nancy Pelosi was elected House Speaker today, making history, again.
Pelosi is the only woman to hold the office and one of the few elected officials to return after over fifty years.
Learn more about her.
Pelosi was born March 26, 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland, with a strong family tradition of public service. . In 1962, she graduated from Trinity College in Washington, DC. One year later, she married Paul Pelosi, a native of San Francisco, where they settled with their five children.
She began as a volunteer and gradually moved up the ranks, making the leap to public office in a special election for California's Eighth District in 1987. She became the first female Democratic leader of the House of Representatives and the first female speaker of the House.
Focused on raising her family, Pelosi got into politics slowly, starting out as a volunteer for the Democratic Party. She hosted parties and helped with campaigns. Pelosi rose up in the party ranks, serving as a California representative to the Democratic National Committee from 1976 to 1996. She also served as the state and northern chair of the California Democratic Party.
In 1987, Pelosi made the leap to public office, winning a special election for California's Eighth District, which includes San Francisco. As a member of the House of Representatives, she has served on the Appropriations Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Pelosi has been a strong supporter of increased funding for health research and for other health care and housing programs and initiatives. She is also an advocate for human rights and the environment.
Pelosi has emerged as one of the leading Democrats in Congress. In 2002, Pelosi was selected to be the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives, making her the first woman in history to do so. Four years later, she again broke new ground for women in U.S. politics. After the Democrats won majorities in both the House and the Senate in the 2006 midterm elections, Pelosi was chosen to become the first woman to take the post of speaker of the House.
Speaker of the House
Pelosi lobbied for the development of better paying jobs, access to college education and affordable health care for all, and revised energy policy that focused on cleaner, more efficient domestic alternatives.
Shortly after winning the Speaker post, Pelosi enjoyed another personal highlight by becoming a grandmother for the sixth time: Her daughter, Alexandra, gave birth to a son, Paul Michael Vos, on November 13, 2006.
After the election of Barack Obama in 2008, Pelosi was in position to work with a president of the same party. She was instrumental in pushing for the health care reform legislation that became the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in 2010, a position that earned her more criticism from the GOP.
Pelosi remained House speaker until November 2010, when Republicans gained control of the House and elected John Boehner to the role, relegating Pelosi to minority leader.
As the House's top Democrat, Pelosi endured criticism for her party's losses and challenges to her leadership. Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan sought to replace her as minority leader in 2016, but was unsuccessful.
On February 7, 2018, Pelosi delivered a marathon speech on the House floor to protest legislation that lacked protection for "Dreamers," the children of undocumented immigrants. Taking advantage of the "magic-minute rule," which allows House leaders to talk for as long as they want, Pelosi read testimonies from Dreamers and recited Bible passages, in all standing for some eight hours and seven minutes, a House record dating back to at least 1909.
Source: Women of the Hall