DIANNE FEINSTEIN Biography - Polititians


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Name: Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein                                               
Born: 22 June 1933 San Francisco, California                                       
Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein (born June 22, 1933) is the senior U.S. Senator     
from California, having held office as a senator since 1992. She is a member of     
the Democratic Party. Senator Feinstein holds a number of "firsts"; she was the     
first female President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, San Francisco's   
first and only female mayor, the first woman to serve in the Senate from           
California, one of two first female Jewish senators, the first woman to serve on   
the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the first woman to chair the Rules and         
Administration committee of that body.                                             
Feinstein was born Dianne Emiel Goldman in San Francisco to Betty Rosenburg,       
a former model, and Leon Goldman, a nationally renowned surgeon who was the         
first Jewish person made tenured physician at the UCSF Medical Center in San       
Francisco. Feinstein's paternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from           
Poland, while her maternal grandparents, who were of the Russian Orthodox faith,   
left St. Petersburg, Russia after the 1917 Russian Revolution; Feinstein's         
maternal grandfather was an imperial army officer who was a convert from           
Judaism to Christianity. Feinstein attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart High   
School and was given a Catholic religious education, but also attended Hebrew       
school and was confirmed in the Jewish faith at the age of thirteen, having said   
that she has "always considered [herself] Jewish".                                 
Feinstein has two sisters, Lynne Kennedy and Yvonne Banks. She received her B.A.   
degree in history in 1955 from Stanford University. In 1956, she married Jack       
Berman, a colleague in the San Francisco District Attorney's office. They were     
divorced three years later. Their daughter, Katherine Feinstein Mariano (b. 1957), 
is a superior court judge in San Francisco. Berman later became a judge; he died   
in 2002. In 1962, shortly after starting her career in politics, she married       
neurosurgeon Bertram Feinstein, who died of colon cancer in 1978. In 1980, she     
married Richard C. Blum, an investment banker. She is adamantly Pro-Israel and a   
member of AIPAC.                                                                   
Feinstein has received scrutiny for husband Richard Blum's extensive business       
dealings with China and her past votes on trade issues with the country. Critics   
have argued that Feinstein's support of policies that may benefit her husband       
may raise the appearance of a conflict of interest. Suburban newspaper             
Metroactive reported in 2007 that Feinstein's husband holds large investments in   
companies that have won large government contracts without competitive bidding.     
In April 2007, Feinstein's office denied there was a conflict of interest and       
stated that her departure from the subcommittee had nothing to do with the         
reports in the Metro weeklies.                                                     
As of December 2006, according to SEC filings and Fedspending.org, three           
corporations in which Blum's financial entities own a total of $1 billion in       
stock won considerable favor from the budgets of the Department of Defense and     
the Department of Veterans Affairs.                                                 
In 2003, Feinstein was ranked the fifth wealthiest senator, with an estimated       
net worth of $26 million. By 2005 her net worth had increased to between $43       
million and $99 million. Her 347-page financial disclosure statement —           
characterized by the San Francisco Chronicle as "nearly the size of a phonebook"   
— draws clear lines between her assets and those of her husband, with many of     
her assets in blind trusts.