Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (1924–2005)
Known for her most famous quote: "Unbought and Unbossed," Shirley Chisholm defeated civil rights leader, James Farmer to become the first African American to serve in the United States Congress from 1969-1982. A strong advocate for civil rights, women's right, children's rights, Chisolm protested the amont of money being spent on the Vietname war while social programs were being underfunded to help the very people for whom she advocated. In 1972 Chisholm became the first woman to ever run for President of the United States. In addition to her interest in civil rights, she spoke out about the judicial system in the United States, police brutality, prison reform, gun control, drug abuse, and numerous other topics. Chisholm did not win the Democratic nomination, but she did win an impressive 10 percent of the votes within the party. As a result of her candidacy, Chisholm was voted one of the ten most admired women in the world.
Chisholm was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Barbadian parents. When she was three years old, Shirley was sent to live with her grandmother on a farm in Barbados, a former British colony in the West Indies. When Chisholm was ten years old, she returned to New York during the height of the Great Depression (1929–39).
After graduating with honors from Brooklyn College in 1946, Chisholm began work as a nursery school teacher and later as a director of schools for early childhood education. She became politically active with the Democratic Party and quickly developed a reputation as a person who challenged the traditional roles of women, African Americans, and the poor. In 1949, she married Conrad Chisholm, and the couple settled in Brooklyn.
She has penned several books including Unbought and Unbossed (1970) and The Good Fight (1973).