Nancy Pelosi, 60th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

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Nancy Patricia Pelosi (D'Alesandro)

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Baltimore County, Maryland, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr., Mayor of Baltimore and Annunciata M. "Nancy" D'Alesandro
Wife of Paul Pelosi
Mother of Christine Pelosi; Paul Pelosi, Jr.; Private; Private and Private
Sister of Thomas D'Alesandro, III, Mayor of Baltimore; Thomas Ludwig John D'Alesandro, Ill; Nicholas M D'Alesandro; Private; Hector Joseph D'Alesandro and 1 other

Managed by: Linda Kathleen Thompson, (c)
Last Updated:

About Nancy Pelosi, 60th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

Nancy Patricia Pelosi (née D'Alesandro; born March 26, 1940) is an American politician serving as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives since January 2019. First elected to Congress in 1987, she is the only woman to have served as Speaker, and is the highest-ranking elected woman in United States history. Pelosi is second in the presidential line of succession, immediately after the vice president.

A member of the Democratic Party, Pelosi is in her 17th term as a congresswoman, representing California's 12th congressional district (since 2013), which consists of four-fifths of the city and county of San Francisco. She initially represented the 5th district (1987–1993), and then, when district boundaries were redrawn after the 1990 Census, the 8th district (1993–2013). She has led House Democrats since 2003 (the first woman to lead a party in Congress), serving twice each as Speaker (2007–2011 and 2019–present) and as House Minority Leader (2003–2007 and 2011–2019) depending upon whether Democrats or Republicans held the majority; she has also served as House Minority Whip (2002–2003).

Pelosi was a major opponent of the Iraq War as well as the Bush Administration's 2005 attempt to privatize Social Security. During her first speakership, she was instrumental in the passage of many landmark bills, including the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act, along with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and 2010 Tax Relief Act, which served as economic stimulus amidst the Great Recession.

In the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats won control of the House. Afterward, when the 116th Congress convened on January 3, 2019, Pelosi was elected Speaker for the second time, becoming the first former speaker to return to the post since Sam Rayburn in 1955.

Early life and education

Pelosi was born in Baltimore to an Italian-American family, the youngest, and only girl, of seven children of Annunciata M. "Nancy" D'Alesandro (née Lombardi), and Thomas D'Alesandro Jr. Both of Pelosi's parents had Italian roots. Her mother was born in Campobasso, in South Italy, and her father could trace his ancestry to the Italian cities of Genoa, Venice and Abruzzo. When Nancy was born, her father was a Democratic Congressman from Maryland and he became Mayor of Baltimore seven years later. Pelosi's mother was also active in politics, organizing Democratic women and teaching her daughter the value of social networking. Pelosi's brother, Thomas D'Alesandro III, also a Democrat, was Mayor of Baltimore from 1967 to 1971.

Pelosi was involved with politics from an early age. She helped her father at his campaign events. She attended John F. Kennedy's inaugural address when he became U.S. President in January 1961.

She graduated from the Institute of Notre Dame, a Catholic all-girls high school in Baltimore. In 1962, she graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. Pelosi interned for Senator Daniel Brewster (D-Maryland) in the 1960s alongside future House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

Early career

After moving to San Francisco, Pelosi worked her way up in Democratic politics. She became a friend of one of the leaders of the California Democratic Party, 5th District Congressman Phillip Burton. In 1976, Pelosi was elected as a Democratic National Committee member from California, a position she would hold until 1996. She was elected as party chair for Northern California on January 30, 1977, and for the California Democratic Party, which she held from 1981 until 1983.

That same year, she ran to succeed Chuck Manatt as chair of the Democratic National Committee, but lost to then-DNC Treasurer Paul G. Kirk. Pelosi left her post as DSCC finance chair in 1986.

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections
Phillip Burton died in 1983 and was succeeded by his wife, Sala. In late 1986, Sala became ill with cancer and decided not to run for reelection in 1988. She picked Pelosi as her designated successor, guaranteeing her the support of the Burtons' contacts. Sala died on February 1, 1987, just a month after being sworn in for a second full term. Pelosi won the special election to succeed her, narrowly defeating San Francisco Supervisor Harry Britt on April 7, 1987, then easily defeating Republican candidate Harriet Ross on June 2, 1987; Pelosi took office a week later.

Pelosi represents one of the safest Democratic districts in the country. Democrats have held the seat since 1949 and Republicans, who currently make up only 13 percent of registered voters in the district, have not made a serious bid for the seat since the early 1960s. She won reelection in the regular election in 1988 and has been reelected another 16 times with no substantive opposition, winning by an average of 80 percent of the vote. She has not participated in candidates' debates since her 1987 race against Harriet Ross. The strongest challenge Pelosi has faced was in 2016 when Preston Picus polled 19.1% and Pelosi won with 80.9%.

For the 2000 and 2002 election cycles, she held the distinction of contributing the most among members of Congress to other congressional campaigns, in part because she is in a safe district and does not need the campaign funds.

Source and additional information: Wikipedia


Congressional Biography Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 116th Congress. From 2007 to 2011, Pelosi served as Speaker of the House, the first woman to do so in American history. As the Democratic Leader, Pelosi is fighting for bigger paychecks and better infrastructure for America’s middle class families. In 2013, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the American women’s rights movement.

For 31 years, Leader Pelosi has represented San Francisco, California's 12th District, in Congress. She has led House Democrats for more than 16 years and previously served as House Democratic Whip.

Under the leadership of Pelosi, the 111th Congress was heralded as "one of the most productive Congresses in history" by Congressional scholar Norman Ornstein. President Barack Obama called Speaker Pelosi “an extraordinary leader for the American people," and the Christian Science Monitor wrote: “…make no mistake: Nancy Pelosi is the most powerful woman in American politics and the most powerful House Speaker since Sam Rayburn a half century ago.”

Working in partnership with President Obama, Speaker Pelosi led House passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in early 2009 to create and save millions of American jobs, provide relief for American families, and provide a tax cut to 95 percent of working Americans. With the House Democratic Caucus, Pelosi continues to focus on the need to create jobs in America and prevent them from being shipped overseas.

Speaker Pelosi achieved passage of historic health insurance reform legislation in the House which establishes a Patients’ Bill of Rights and will provide insurance for tens of millions more Americans while lowering health care costs over the long term. The new law provides patients with affordable insurance choices, curbs abuses by the insurance industry, strengthens Medicare, and reduces the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next 10 years.

In the 111th Congress, Speaker Pelosi also led the Congress in passing strong Wall Street reforms to rein in big banks and protect consumers as well as the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which expands educational opportunities and reforms the financial aid system to save billions of taxpayers’ dollars. Additional key legislation passed into law included the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to restore the ability of women and all workers to access our judicial system to fight pay discrimination; legislation to provide health care for 11 million American children; national service legislation; and hate crimes legislation. In late 2010, Pelosi led the Congress in passing child nutrition and food safety legislation as well as repealing the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

Pelosi has made energy security her flagship issue, enacting comprehensive energy legislation in 2007 that raised vehicle fuel efficiency standards for the first time in 32 years and making an historic commitment to American home grown biofuels. In 2009, under her leadership, the House passed the landmark American Clean Energy and Security Act – a comprehensive bill to create clean energy jobs, combat climate change, and transition America to a clean energy economy. The legislation was blocked by Republicans in the United States Senate, but sent a strong signal to the world about the United States’ commitment to fighting the climate crisis.

A leader on the environment at home and abroad, Pelosi secured passage of the “Pelosi amendment” in 1989, now a global tool to assess the potential environmental impacts of development. In San Francisco, Pelosi was the architect of legislation to create the Presidio Trust and transform the former military post into an urban national park.

In continuing to push for accountability and transparency in government, under Speaker Pelosi, the House passed the toughest ethics reform legislation in the history of the Congress, including the creation of an independent ethics panel, and increased accountability and transparency in House operations, including earmark reforms. As Speaker, Pelosi led the fight to pass the DISCLOSE Act in the House, which fights a corporate takeover of U.S. elections and ensures additional disclosure; she continues to fight for this legislation today.

Additional key accomplishments signed into law under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi include: an increase in the minimum wage for the first time in 10 years; the largest college aid expansion since the GI bill; a new GI education bill for Post 9/11 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; and increased services and resources for veterans, spouses, survivors, caregivers, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Pelosi comes from a strong family tradition of public service. Her late father, Thomas D'Alesaanddro Jr., served as Mayor of Baltimore for 12 years, after representing the city for five terms in Congress. Her brother, Thomas D'Alesandro III, also served as Mayor of Baltimore. She graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. She and her husband, Paul Pelosi, a native of San Francisco, have five grown children and nine grandchildren. Source: House.gov

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Nancy Pelosi, 60th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives's Timeline

1940
March 26, 1940
Baltimore County, Maryland, United States
1966
1966
1969
January 23, 1969
San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA, United States