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Barbara Mikulski: A Featured Biography


Barbar Mikulski

Barbara Ann Mikulski of Maryland has dedicated her life to public service. Born and raised in Baltimore, Mikulski trained as a social worker. She won her first election to the Baltimore City Council in 1971 and five years later, won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, Mikulski became the second woman in the nation’s history to serve in both chambers. Senator Mikulski championed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, helped establish the Office of Research on Women's Health at the National Institutes of Health, worked to expand access to higher education and protect the final resources of the nation’s seniors, and supported investments in research and innovation, including the Hubble Space Telescope. In 2011 Mikulski became the longest-serving female senator and the following year, the longest-serving woman in Congress. She was also the first woman to chair the powerful Senate Committee on Appropriations. Upon her retirement in 2017, a colleague observed of her service: “We often talk of the lions of the Senate. Barbara Mikulski ranks among them. I will miss her fierce advocacy, her counsel, her commitment, her tenacity, and her grit.”