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Oral History Project | Carol Moseley Braun

United States Senator from Illinois (1993-1999)

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. In the 1970s her environmental activism led to a political career. She became an Illinois state representative in 1977. Following an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor in 1986, she 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 challenged Senator Alan Dixon for the Democratic nomination and won, then defeated Republican candidate Richard Williamson in November. She took office on January 3, 1993, as the first female U.S. senator from Illinois and the first African American woman to serve in the U.S. Senate. In these oral history interviews, recorded in 1999, Moseley Braun reflects upon her childhood, the development of a political philosophy, her entrance into political life, and the achievements and difficulties of her Senate career.

Carol Moseley Braun, 1993-1999


Scholarly citation: "Carol Moseley Braun: U.S. Senator, 1993-1999," Oral History Interviews, Senate Historical Office, Washington, D.C.

Disclaimer: The Senate Historical Office has a strong commitment to oral history as an important part of its efforts to document institutional change over time. Oral histories are a natural component to historical research and enhance the archival holdings of the Senate and its members. Oral histories represent the personal recollections and opinions of the interviewees, however, and should not be considered as the official views or opinions of the U.S. Senate, of the Senate Historical Office, or of other senators and/or staff members. The transcripts of these oral histories are made available by the Senate Historical Office as a public service.