Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who made history in 2007 when she became the first woman to be named as speaker of the House, broke new ground again Thursday when she picked up the gavel for a second time.
Pelosi, 78, was elected House speaker Thursday afternoon, after the 116th Congress convened with a Democratic majority. She is the first person in more than six decades to become House speaker after losing the position, Politico reported.
Here are some things to know about Pelosi:
- Pelosi was born on March 26, 1940, in Baltimore.
- Pelosi’s father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., was a congressman who represented Maryland’s 3rd District from 1939 to 1947. He went on to serve 12 years as mayor of Baltimore.
- Pelosi’s brother, Thomas D’Alesandro III, served from 1967 to 1971 as mayor of Baltimore.
- Pelosi chaired the California Democratic Party from 1981 to 1983 before she was first elected in 1987 to represent San Francisco, California’s 12th District, in the House of Representatives.
- Pelosi was elected in 2001 to serve as House minority whip after then-Democratic Whip David Bonior left to make a run for the governorship of Michigan, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Pelosi was the first woman to be chosen as House minority whip.
- Pelosi became the first woman to lead either party in Congress when she was chosen in 2002 to replace then-House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, according to CNN.
"I didn't run as a woman," Pelosi said in 2002, according to CNN. "I ran again as a seasoned politician and experienced legislator. It just so happens that I am a woman, and we have been waiting a long time for this moment."
- Pelosi became the first woman to be sworn in as speaker of the House in 2007, when the 110th U.S. Congress convened.
“This is an historic moment — for the Congress, and for the women of America. It is a moment for which we have waited more than 200 years. Never losing faith, we waited through the many years of struggle to achieve our rights,” Pelosi said in 2007, according to The Associated Press. “For our daughters and granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling.”
- Pelosi married San Francisco native and businessman Paul Pelosi in 1963, according to The Baltimore Sun. They have five grown children, according to the newspaper: Nancy, Christine, Jacqueline, Paul Jr. and Alexandra. They also have nine grandchildren.
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