TC Alumna Shirley Chisholm Dies
TC alumna Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman to hold a seat in Congress - and, in 1972, the first to run for President - passed away in early January. She was 80 years old.
The seven-term representative from New York made her Presidential bid with the slogan "unbought and unbossed" and won 151 delegates. (George McGovern was the ultimate Democratic Party nominee.)
"The next time a woman runs, or a black, a Jew or anyone from a group that the country is ‘not ready' to elect to its highest office, I believe that he or she will be taken seriously from the start," she said.
Yet Chisholm was also a pragmatist who visited former Alabama Governor and segregationist George Wallace in the hospital after he was partly paralyzed by an assassination attempt.
Chisholm attended public school in Brooklyn and later served as a nursery school teacher, director of a child care center, and educational consultant to New York City's Division of Day Care. She received her Master's degree from TC in 1951 in Curriculum and Teaching, and was honored with the College's Distinguished Achievement medal in 1985.
"Shirley Chisholm was truly one-of-a-kind," said Darlyne Bailey, TC's Vice President and Dean. " She was an educator, a humanitarian, and a role model for numerous women and men alike - while not always ‘popular' for her stances, she ultimately was a true force for good in society. Many of her words and actions reflect the best of everything TC has stood for. We now have the responsibility to continue this work. That will be not only the best tribute we can give her, but also the best service to the world."
Published Monday, Jan. 10, 2005