CAROL MOSELEY-BRAUN Biography - Polititians


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Name: Carol Elizabeth Moseley Braun                                                         
Born: 16 August 1947 Chicago, Illinois                                                     
Carol Elizabeth Moseley Braun (born August 16, 1947) is an American politician             
and lawyer who represented Illinois in the United States Senate from 1993 to               
1999. She was the first, and to date, the only, African American woman elected             
to the United States Senate, the first African-American senator to be elected as           
a Democrat, and the first and to date only woman elected to the Senate from                 
Illinois. She briefly participated as a candidate for the Democratic Party                 
nomination in the 2004 U.S. presidential election.                                         
Braun was born Carol Elizabeth Moseley in Chicago, Illinois, and educated in the           
Chicago public school system. Her father, Joseph Moseley, was a law enforcement             
officer and her mother, Edna, was a medical technician. She graduated from                 
the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1969 and earned a Juris Doctor degree             
from the University of Chicago in 1972.                                                     
As an attorney, Moseley Braun was a prosecutor in the United States Attorney's             
office in Chicago from 1973 to 1977. An Assistant United States Attorney, she               
worked primarily in the civil and appellate law areas and tried cases of                   
national importance. Her work in housing, health policy, and                               
environmental law won her the Attorney General's Special Achievement Award. She             
subsequently received over 300 awards for achievements in the public interest.             
Moseley Braun was first elected to public office in 1978, as a member of the               
Illinois House of Representatives. There, she rose to the post of assistant                 
majority leader. As a State Representative, she became recognized as a champion             
for education, governmental reform, and civil rights. As early                             
as 1984, she proposed a moratorium on the application in Illinois of the death             
penalty. And in what became a landmark reapportionment case, Crosby vs State               
Board of Elections, she successfully sued her own party and the state of                   
Illinois on behalf of African American and Hispanic citizens. When she left the             
state legislature in 1987, her colleagues recognized her in a resolution as "the           
conscience of the House." That same year, she was elected as                               
Cook County, Illinois, Recorder of Deeds, a post she held for four years.                   
In 1991, angered by incumbent Democratic senator Alan Dixon's vote to confirm               
Clarence Thomas, Moseley Braun challenged him in the primary election. Candidate           
Albert Hofeld's campaign ran many anti-Dixon ads, and Braun won the primary,               
ultimately defeating Richard S. Williamson in the Senate election. In 1992, she             
became the first African American woman to be elected to the United States                 
Senate. Her election marked the first time Illinois had elected a woman, and the           
first time a black person was elected as a Democratic Party candidate to the               
United States Senate. She was one of two African Americans to serve in the                 
Senate in the 20th century, and was the sole African American in the Senate from           
1993 to 1999.                                                                               
Despite her reputation as a liberal, Moseley Braun possessed something of a                 
centrist record on economic issues. She voted for the 1993 budget package and               
against the welfare reform laws passed in 1996, but on many other matters she               
was more moderate. Moseley Braun voted in favor of the North American Free Trade           
Agreement (NAFTA) and lawsuit reform measures like the Private Securities                   
Litigation Reform Act (she was also among the minority of Democrats to support             
the even more controversial Common Sense Product Liability and Legal Reform Act             
of 1995). She also voted contrary to the interests of the more populist wing of             
the party by voting for the Freedom to Farm Act and the Telecommunications Act             
of 1996. Like her colleague fellow Illinois Democrat Paul Simon, she voted in               
favor of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution and also             
to place a nuclear dump in Nevada, a move strongly opposed by many Democrats               
especially current Majority Leader Harry Reid.                                             
On social issues however, she was significantly more liberal than many of her               
fellow senators. She was strongly pro-choice, voting against the ban on partial-birth       
abortions and the restrictions on funding in military bases for abortions. She             
also voted against the death penalty and in favor of gun control measures.                 
Moseley Braun was one of only sixteen senators to vote against the                         
Communications Decency Act and one of only fourteen to vote against the Defense             
of Marriage Act. She delivered a eulogy to Thurgood Marshall on January 26 1993.           
Moseley Braun was the subject of a 1993 Federal Elections Commission                       
investigation over $249,000 in unaccounted campaign funds. The agency found some           
small violations, but took no action against Moseley Braun, citing a lack of               
resources. Moseley Braun only admitted to bookkeeping errors.                               
In 1996, Moseley Braun made a private trip to Nigeria, where she met with                   
dictator Sani Abacha. She subsequently defended Abacha's human rights records in           
In 1998, after George Will wrote a column reviewing the allegations of                     
corruption against her, she responded to Will's comments, saying that "I think             
because he couldn't say nigger, he said corrupt." She also compared Will to a               
Ku Klux Klansman, saying "I mean this very sincerely from the bottom of my heart:           
He can take his hood and put it back on again, as far as I'm concerned."                   
Later, Braun apologized for her remarks.                                                   
She announced her intention to run for the Democratic Party presidential                   
nomination in February 2003. On January 15, 2004, four days before the Iowa                 
caucuses, Moseley Braun dropped out of the race and endorsed Howard Dean.                   
She currently runs a private law firm, Moseley Braun LLC in Chicago. Moseley               
Braun has launched a line of organic food products called Ambassador Organics.             
Moseley Braun is divorced and resides in Hyde Park, Chicago. She has one child,             
an adult son. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.             
In April 2007, Braun suffered a broken wrist when a mugger emerged from bushes             
near her front door to steal her purse, cutting the strap with a knife. Braun               
resisted, and fell during the struggle, fracturing her left wrist. The mugger               
was chased off without the purse by University of Chicago student Zachary Trayes-Gibson     
while his girlfriend called 9-1-1. Braun was later treated and released from a             
hospital. A suspect was later arrested for the incident and has pleaded not