It’s a celebratory week for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who marks her 30-year anniversary in the Senate on Nov. 4 and becomes the longest-serving woman senator on Nov. 5, surpassing Sen. Barbara Mikulski.
“It’s an incredible honor to become the longest-serving woman senator in our nation’s history, and I’m forever grateful to the people of California who sent me here to represent them,” said Feinstein in a statement.
Feinstein has a long career as a public servant that launched here in San Francisco. Born and raised in the city, she graduated high school from Convent of the Sacred Heart—now known as Convent and Stuart Hall—in Pacific Heights.
After completing her college studies at Stanford University in 1955, Feinstein worked in the nonprofit world and on various local boards before being elected in 1969 to the Board of Supervisors, serving as its first female president in 1970.
She twice ran for mayor and lost, but assumed the seat—becoming the first woman ever to do so in San Francisco—after the assassination of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978.
Her election to the U.S. Senate in 1992 paved the way for more first-ever accomplishments—she became a trailblazer for women in leadership roles.
“It has been a great pleasure to watch more and more women walk the halls of the Senate,” said Feinstein in a statement. “We went from two women senators when I ran for office in 1992 to 24 today—and I know that number will keep climbing.”
Now Feinstein becomes the longest-tenured woman member of the U.S. Senate, with her Senate term ending in 2024.
However, in recent months, rumors have circulated about the senator’s potential mental decline and whether the search for her replacement in the Senate may need to happen sooner rather than later.
In a statement provided by her office in April, Feinstein did not seem at all inclined to vacate her post. “The real question is whether I’m still an effective representative for 40 million Californians, and the record shows that I am,” she wrote.
In her most recent press statement, Feinstein said, “I will continue to advocate for women’s rights in all aspects of life, I will continue to advocate for more women leaders and I will continue to do all I can to represent the people of California.”
See more photos of the Senator’s storied career below:
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