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Nancy Pelosi

U.S. Representative

Born: 26 March 1940
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland
Best known as: The first female Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

Name at birth: Nancy D'Alesandro

Democrat Nancy Pelosi became the Speaker of the House of Representatives on 4 January 2007, which made her the first woman ever to hold the post. Nancy Pelosi graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. in 1962, then married businessman Paul Pelosi and moved to his native San Francisco. She worked her way up through the state Democratic party before entering Congress after a special election in California's 8th District in 1987. The 8th District, which includes much of San Francisco, is considered one of the more liberal districts in the United States, and thus Nancy Pelosi has often been accused of extreme liberalism by her political opponents. She was named Minority Leader in November of 2002, becoming the first woman to lead a political party in the history of the U.S. Congress. After Democrats won control of the House of Representatives in the national elections of November 2006, Nancy Pelosi was elected Speaker of the House for the session beginning in 2007 and then re-elected in 2009 as fellow Democrat Barack Obama took office. Republicans won control of the House in the elections of 2010, and Pelosi was replaced as Speaker by Republican John Boehner of Ohio. She continues to represent the 8th District.

Extra credit: Nancy Pelosi is the mother of filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi, director of the documentaries Journeys With George (2002, with George W. Bush) and Friends of God (2007, featuring Ted Haggard)... Nancy Pelosi was first elected to congress in a special election to replace Representative Sala Burton, who died in office... Pelosi's father, Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr. was a congressman from Maryland (1939-47) and mayor of Baltimore (1947-59). Her brother, Thomas J. D'Alesandro III, also was mayor of Baltimore from 1967-71.

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