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. She became an Illinois state representative in 1977 and then 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. As a senator, Moseley Braun sponsored progressive education bills and campaigned for gun control. In 1999, she became the U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, a position she held until 2001. Moseley Braun ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004.