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Barbara Charline Jordan

Jordan, Barbara Charline, 1936–96, African-American lawyer, public official, and educator, b. Houston. After graduating from Boston Univ. Law School (1959), she practiced law in Houston. In 1966 she became the first African American to be elected to the Texas senate, and six years later, the first to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the South since Reconstruction. As a Democratic member of Congress, she achieved national renown on the House Judiciary Committee when it investigated (1974) the Watergate affair. Her keynote address at the 1976 Democratic national convention further enhanced her stature, but she decided to retire from politics the following year. From 1979 until her death, she taught at the Univ. of Texas.

See biography by M. B. Rogers (1998).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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