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Nancy L. Kassebaum: A Featured Biography

Image of Nancy L. Kassebaum
Senator Nancy L. Kassebaum of Kansas, 1978-1997 U.S. Senate Historical Office

When Senator Nancy Kassebaum delivered Washington’s Farewell Address on February 16, 1981, the Kansas Republican was one of only two women serving in the United States Senate, and only the fourteenth female senator in the institution’s history. The daughter of Alfred M. Landon, the Republican governor of Kansas who challenged Franklin Roosevelt in the 1936 presidential election, Kassebaum served three terms in the Senate, beginning on December 3, 1978. Known for her moderate but independent stand on issues, Kassebaum worked tirelessly on policies such as reducing the budget deficit and international arms control. In her last term she chaired the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources—only the second woman to chair a Senate standing committee. Kassebaum retired in 1997, but she remained a powerful and influential role model for women seeking elective office.


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