Black in the Day…A Senate First
November 3, 1992:
On this date Carolyn Moseley Braun became the first African-American woman to be elected to the United States Senate, defeating Republican Richard S. Williamson.
Carol Elizabeth Moseley Braun, also sometimes Moseley-Braun (born August 16, 1947), is an American diplomat, politician, and lawyer who represented Illinois in the United States Senate from 1993 to 1999. She was the first female African-American Senator, the first African-American U.S. Senator for the Democratic Party, the first woman to defeat an incumbent U.S. Senator in an election, and the first female Senator from Illinois. She was the only female U.S. Senator from Illinois until Tammy Duckworth who became the U.S. Senator from Illinois in January 2017. From 1999 until 2001, she was the United States Ambassador to New Zealand. She was a candidate for the Democratic nomination during the 2004 U.S. presidential election. Following the public announcement by Richard M. Daley that he would not seek re-election, in November 2010, Braun began her campaign for Mayor of Chicago. The former Senator placed fourth in a field of six candidates, losing the February 22, 2011, election to Rahm Emanuel.