Former Democratic US Rep. Patricia Schroeder of Colorado, who fought for women’s rights for many years, has died. She turned 82.
Her daughter, Jamie Cornish, told CNN that Schroeder died Monday night in a hospital in Celebration, Florida, surrounded by her family. The cause was complications from a stroke, Cornish said.
A House biography says Schroeder was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 1972. He went on to serve in Congress for more than 20 years, where he was known for being a strong voice on issues like women’s reproductive rights and gun control.
She earned a spot on the Armed Services Committee, which at the time was made up of only men.
Schroeder was born in Portland, Oregon, to a man who sold aviation insurance and a woman who taught at a public school. He became a pilot and went to Harvard Law School. She Had Two Children When She Was Elected To Congress.
“When I was growing up,” Schroeder said, “my father was always interested in politics and talked about it,” according to her House biography. People always talked in great detail at dinner about what was happening.”
Schroeder wrote about being one of only 14 women in the House when she was first elected in her memoir, “24 Years of Housework… and the Place Is Still a Mess: My Life in Politics.”
She wrote, “The women in Congress had to fight almost every battle alone, whether for female pages (there were none) or a place to go to the bathroom.” By the late 1980s, the congresswoman had become well-known on Capitol Hill for her fights with Republicans over military spending, reproductive rights, and workplace reform, according to her bio. She also coined the term “Teflon president” to describe how famous Ronald Reagan was even though he was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal.
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