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Timothy N. Thurber

lawyer and U.S. senator, was born Edward William Brooke III in Washington, D.C., to Edward Brooke Jr., an attorney for the Veterans Administration, and Helen Seldon. Growing up in an integrated middle-class neighborhood, Brooke readily absorbed his mother's instruction to respect others and treat all people equally. The Brookes lived relatively free from much of the racism endured by other African Americans. “We never felt hated,” his mother recalled (Cutler, 14). Brooke attended Dunbar High School, an elite public school with many middle- and upper-class African American students and then went on to Howard University, where he became president of the school's chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and earned his bachelor's degree in 1941 Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor later that year Brooke was drafted into an all black combat unit in the army He served in many roles including as a defender of those ...

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George White

lawyer, politician, and writer. Born and raised in Woodrow Wilson's Washington, D.C., Edward William Brooke III proved to be a trailblazer who built a legal and political career that exceeded the socially imposed limits on blacks in America. At the height of his career, Brooke represented a social justice wing of the Republican Party that has disappeared. Even in his retirement he continues to be a pioneer as an advocate for cancer detection in men.

Brooke grew up in a middle-class household; his father was a lawyer for the Veterans Administration. Brooke attended the segregated public schools of Washington, graduating from Dunbar High School in 1936 and from Howard University in 1941 Shortly thereafter the U S Army drafted Brooke During his tenure in the military he served with the 366th Combat Infantry Regiment and defended enlisted men in military court cases Following the deployment of ...

Article

The only son of Helen Seldon and lawyer Edward W. Brooke, Edward Brooke III was born in Washington, D.C., and graduated from Howard University in 1941 with a chemistry degree. A United States Army captain, he fought in Italy in World War II (1939–1945) and received the Bronze Star and combat infantryman's badge. After the war he earned a degree from Boston University's School of Law, where he was editor of the Law Review.

Brooke's political career began in 1950 when he left his private law practice to run unsuccessfully for the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In 1961 newly elected Republican governor John Volpe appointed Brooke chairman of the Boston Finance Commission. He resigned in 1963 when he was sworn in as Massachusetts attorney general, after winning the Republican nomination and election in 1962.

Known for his role as a crime fighter and an ...

Article

Heather Marie Stur

the thirty-sixth president of the United States, coming into office in November 1963 after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. A Democrat, Lyndon Baines Johnson was born and raised in rural Texas, and his experiences growing up shaped both his personality and his political outlook. He earned a teaching degree and worked as a teacher before embarking on a long political career, which included many terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in addition to the vice presidency and the presidency. Throughout his life Johnson was known for his persuasive skills and his ability to build coalitions and make strategic political friends. Although he was committed to addressing domestic problems, authorizing several pieces of civil rights legislation and making what he called the War on Poverty the focus of his domestic policy, he often is associated primarily with the escalation of the Vietnam War.

Johnson was born ...

Article

LaVerne Gray

U.S. senator, lawyer, and ambassador. Carol Moseley Braun gained national significance in 1992 when she was elected to the U.S. Senate: she was the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Senate, the first African American elected to the Senate as a Democrat, and the first woman elected to the Senate from the state of Illinois. Her life and career signify a dedication to service and making strides as an African American woman on the male-dominated local, state, and national political scenes.

Carol Moseley was born on the South Side of Chicago, the first of four children of Joseph J. Moseley, a Chicago police officer, and Edna W. Davie Moseley, a medical technician. During the early years of Moseley's life, her family lived a middle-class existence. This changed when her parents divorced in 1963 Moseley attended Chicago public schools and graduated from Parker ...

Article

Eric D. Duke

Moseley Braun made history in 1992 when she became the first African American woman—and first African American Democrat—elected to the U.S. Senate. With her election to the nation’s top legislative body, she instantaneously became a symbol of both racial and gender diversity. However, Moseley Braun’s career as a U.S. Senator was only one highlight in her successful career as both a lawyer and public official. With a résumé composed of service at the local, state, and federal levels, Moseley Braun proved to be more than simply a “symbol.” She established herself as one of the premier public officials in the United States, for any race or gender.

Article

Carol Moseley-Braun, the oldest of four children, was born in Chicago, Illinois. Her mother, Edna Moseley, was a medical technician, and her father, Joseph Moseley, was a police officer. Reared a Roman Catholic on Chicago's South Side, Moseley-Braun graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1969 with a B.A. degree in political science, and three years later, she finished a J.D. at the University of Chicago Law School. While in law school, she met and eventually married Michael Braun, also a lawyer. Moseley-Braun gave birth to her only child, Matthew, in 1977, and in 1986 she and her husband divorced.

Moseley-Braun served in the Illinois State Legislature from 1978 to 1987, and she was the first African American to serve as that body's assistant majority leader. In 1992 Moseley-Braun ran for the U.S. Senate against two-term incumbent Alan Dixon who had ...

Article

Steven J. Niven

author, U.S. senator, and first African American president. Born Barack Hussein Obama in Honolulu, Hawaii, he was the only son of Barack Obama Sr., a native of Kenya, and Ann Dunham, a white Kansan, who met and married while they were both students at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Obama Sr. grew up herding goats with his father, who was a domestic servant for British colonial officials in the small Kenyan village of Nyangoma-Kogelo. Obama Sr. arrived in Hawaii in 1959 as part of a program initiated by the Kenyan nationalist politician Tom Mboya to educate promising young African students in the United States. Mboya's program aimed to prepare an African-born elite for government service after the end of British colonial rule, and he secured scholarship funds from a number of African Americans active in the civil rights movement, including Jackie Robinson, Harry Belafonte, and Sidney Poitier ...