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Oral History Project | Women of the Senate

Carol Moseley BraunU.S. Senator from Illinois (1993–1999)

Carol Moseley Braun, 1993-1999

Carol Moseley Braun served in the United States Senate from 1993 to 1999 as a Democrat from Illinois. Born in Chicago in 1947, Moseley Braun came of age in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement and pursued a career in law. In the 1970s her environmental activism led to a political career. She joined the United States Attorney's Office in Chicago before being elected to the Illinois state legislature in 1978, where she served for 10 years. Following an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor in 1986, she served four years as Recorder of Deeds for Cook County, Illinois, the first African American elected to a Cook County executive position. In 1992 she defeated both the Democratic incumbent and the Republican challenger for a seat in the U.S. Senate, becoming the first female senator from Illinois and the first African American woman to serve in the Senate. In interviews recorded in 1999, Moseley Braun reflects upon her childhood, the development of a political philosophy, her entrance into political life, and the achievements and difficulties of her Senate career.

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Women of the Senate Interview, 2017

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Scholarly citation: "Carol Moseley Braun: U.S. Senator, 1993–1999," Women of the Senate Oral History Interview, September 22, 2017, Senate Historical Office, Washington, D.C.; "Carol Moseley Braun: U.S. Senator, 1993–1999," Oral History Interviews, January 27 to June 16, 1999, Senate Historical Office, Washington, D.C.

Disclaimer: The Senate Historical Office has a strong commitment to oral history as an important part of its efforts to document institutional change over time. Oral histories are a natural component to historical research and enhance the archival holdings of the Senate and its members. Oral histories represent the personal recollections and opinions of the interviewees, however, and should not be considered as the official views or opinions of the U.S. Senate, of the Senate Historical Office, or of other senators and/or staff members. The transcripts of these oral histories are made available by the Senate Historical Office as a public service.